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Full text of "History of the Rockaways from the year 1685 to 1917; being a complete record and review of events of historical importance during that period in the Rockaway Peninsula, comprising the villages of Hewlett, Woodmere, Cedarhurst, Lawrence, Inwood, Far Rockaway, Arverne, Rockaway Beach, Belle Harbor, Neponsit and Rockaway Point"

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OJatncU mntiJEraita ffiibrara 

JItliaca. Kctn ?ork 









3 1924 028 832 941 


Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 





From the year 1685 to 1917 

Being a complete record and review of events of 

historical importance during that period in the 

Rockaway peninsula, comprising the villages 

of Hewlett, Woodmere, Cedarhurst, 

Lawrence, Inwood, Far Rockaway, 

Arverne, Rockaway Beach, Belle 

Harbor, Neponsit and 

Rockaway Point 




Copyright 1917 


Bellot's History of the Rockaways, Inc. 

All rights reserved 

Copyright 1918 


Bellot's History of the Rockaways, Inc. 

All rights reserved 


Foreword ..... 

Poem, "Indian Names and Memories" . 

General Characteristics of the Peninsula 

Early History ..... 

Interesting Old Records 

Cornell Partition Suit in 1809 

Sales and Divisions of Lots 

Rockaivay During the War of Independence 

Transit Facilities from the Earliest Period 

Water Supply ..... 

Gas and Electric Supply 

Banking histitutions 

Fraternal Orders, Civic and Business Associations 

Educational Facilities — Past and Present 

Religious Life, Including a History of Every Church and 

Cemeteries .... 

Jamaica Bay and Its Fisheries 

Honor Roll of "Our Boys" . 

Histories of the Villages: 

Woodmere and Hewlett 



Rock Hall, Lawrence 

The Rockaivay Hunting Chib 

Inivood .... 

Far Rockaway 


Arverne .... 

Rockaway Beach 
The Secession Movement 






'What's -past is prologue." 

— Shakespeare's Tempest. 

IN preparing this first issue of the History of the Rockaways it has been my 
earnest endeavor to complete a work containing only well authenticated facts 
and to search diligently into tradition, wherever possible, in order that sur- 
mise and guesswork may be totally eliminated. The present work is the result 
(and is the product of considerable research and inquiry, extending over a period 
of several years. Portions of Colonial, State, Countj' and Village records have 
been copied and many officials and old residents, whose knowledge and informa- 
tion I have availed myself of, have been interviewed. 

' A review of past events is not only a monument to the achievements of our 
forefathers, but it is a healthy mental exercise and a guide. It should prove to 
be a beneficent influence inasmuch as we may learn from their actions and ex- 
periences and fit ourselves accordingly during our own brief span of life before 
our time comes, as theirs did, to pass over into the Great Beyond. 

This work would be incomplete without a heartfelt tribute and acknowledg- 
ment being paid to our brave sons, so many of whom have gone from our midst, 
with little warning, to risk their lives on behalf of their country and the free- 
dom of mankind, and who are heroically doing their share to hasten the end 
of the present terrible world conflict. 

Cordial thanks are extended to all who have assisted me, and particularly to 
Mrs. Sarah C. Lockwood, ex-Judge Edmund J. Healy, the late Watkin W. Jones, 
James Caffrey, Edward Roche, Divine Hewlett, William Scheer, J. W. Wain- 
jWright, Charles A. Schilling, David J. Fclio, Dr. J. Carl Schmuck, Carleton Macy, 
W. S. Pettit, W. H. E. Jay Junior, Charles R. Bettes, Andrew McTigue, The 
Tablet and others. 


Far Rockaway, N. Y., December 7th, 1917. 


Long Island winds are Mowing fair and free 

As when of old, a thousand years ago 
They swept the shifting sands, o'erleapt the highest tree. 

And through the sandy barrens trampled sloiv. 

Was there no poetry in those wild days 

When Indian braves their love songs murmured low? 
When the young mother held her babe in arm. 

And Indian luUabys sang sweet and sloiv? 

Was there no poetry in those old days 

When lifted skies at sunrise arched the dawn? 

Where sparkling waters dimpled all the day 

And darkling midnights hovered close and warm? 

Reckoivhacky, that "lonely place," that "place 

Of waters b?'ight." Kisseena, "it is cold." 
Ronkonkoma, "the tvild goose' resting place.'' 

Manhattan "island hill," and Maspeth "overflowed.'' 

Goivanus "here the sleeper rests," Canarsie 
"Fenced place," and Merrick "here is barren 

Land," "devoid of trees it stands." Massdpequa 
"Great ivater land" — how few, how few they are. 

THEIR poetry was Nature's. Deep within 
The heart they held it, but all unexpressed 

In rvreathed numbers was the joy they felt. 

So silent, grave, they lived their lives, and passed. 

From shore and river, forest-land and plain, 

They passed away. Of all they saw and wrought. 

Of all their stately life and utterance, 

A feiv names glimpse for us their every thought. 

— Jessie Fremont Hume. 

History of the Rockaways 

there are Voices of the Past, 

Links of a broken chain, 
Wings that can bear me back to Times 

Which cannot come again; 
Yet God forbid that I should lose 

The echoes that remain. 

— Procter. 

SWEPT along its entire south side 
by the rolling breakers of the At- 
lantic Ocean, the narrow neck of 
land now known as the Rockaway Pen- 
insula, thickly populated and attracting 
millions of visitors annually, was taken 
over from the Indians by the first white 
settlers two hundred and thirty years 

At the present day a large part of 
the peninsula, which somewhat resem- 
bles in shape an elongated, toeless hu- 
man foot pointing to the west, is pr.rt 
of the Greater City of New York and is 
one of the most popular summer play- 
grounds and breathing spaces on the 
Atlantic seaboard. 

In addition to being a summer resort, 
it is a collection of villages, each of 
which has its own permanent resident 
population, its own religious, civic and 
social centres and activities and its own 
pride, achievement and aspirations. 

Beginning with Hewlett and proceed- 
ing south and west, the peninsula in- 
cludes Woodmere, Cedarhurst, Law- 
rence, Inwood, Far Rockaway, Edge- 
mere, Arverne and Rockaway Beach, 
which latter is sub-divided into the sec- 
tions of Hammels, Holland, Seaside, 
Rockaway Park, Belle Harbor, Neponsit 
and Rockaway Point. Of these villages 
the most important and thickly popu- 
lated is Far Rockaway in the centre. 

The peninsula is bounded on the south 
by the Atlantic ocean, on the east by 
Woodmere or Brosemere Baj^ and Nas- 
sau County, and on the north by 
Jamaica Bay and Nassau County. The 
westerly extremity is a point of land 
terminating at the junction of the ocean 
and bay, south of Coney Island, there 
forming the well-known treacherous 
Rockaway Inlet. 

It was at this point that Henry Hud- 
son, the famous discoverer of the Hud- 
son River, was delayed in entering that 
river on his search for the northwest 

passage to China from Europe. In the 
log book of Hudson's ship the "Half 
Moon" bearing date September 3rd, 
1608, his mate, Robert Juett of Lime 
House (England), notes that in attempt- 
ing to enter the "Northermost of the 
three great rivers" he was deterred by 
the sand bar and shallow water and 
turned toward the narrows. The "north- 
ermost" referred to was the old Rock- 
away inlet to Jamaica Bay. A year later 
a boat's crew from the "Half Moon" 
landed on Coney Island, near the inlet, 
for the purpose of burying one of their 
comrades who had been killed by 
Indians while they were exploring the 
bay and river. 

The greatest assets of the Rockaway 
peninsula are its proximity to the At- 
lantic Ocean and its easy accessibility. 
Served by a frequent and fast electric 
train service connecting with Manhat- 
tan, Brooklyn, Long Island City, 
Jamaica and all Long Island, the entire 
section affords a haven of rest whose 
health-giving properties are eagerly 
taken advantage of by tired city 
dwellers anxious to escape the city tur- 
moil and summer heat. Bathing, boat- 
ing, yachting, fishing, tennis, golfing 
and horse racing are among the princi- 
pal summer outdoor sports and pap- 
times. There are several country clubs 
with large memberships, admirable golf 
courses, hundreds of public and private 
tennis courts, numerous private yacht, 
shooting, and bowling clubs, a large 
summer variety or vaudeville theatre 
and numerous moving picture theatres. 
Hotel and home life provide every con- 
ceivable branch of social activity par- 
ticipated in by residents in the various 
sections. Society leaders, princes of 
finance, politicians, members of the 
diplomatic service, leading men in the 
legal, clerical and medical professions; 
the stockbroker, manufacturer, factor, 
business man, salesman, clerk, stenog- 



rapher, and laborers; in fact, the world, 
his wife and his sweetheart, have a re- 
curring or permanent regard for the 
Rockaways, which they make their sum- 
mer resort or regular home. 

The resident population of the Rock- 
away Peninsula in the months between 
October and May is estimated at 36,000 
persons. The distribution of national- 
ities of the inhabitants is typical of a 
great city. The American born are 
everywhere, but mostly live in the 
northeasterly, or Nassau County, end of 
the peninsula. Irish, Jewish and Ger- 
mans are found in large numbers, and 
there is a considerable sprinkling of 
English, Scotch, French, Italians, 
Swedes and Norwegians. From May to 
October, which is the season when 
hotels open and cottages and tents are 
rented, it is almost impossible to esti- 
mate the number of residents. Strictly 
speaking, the "season" is from July 4th 
to Labor Day, but these dates are only 
observed in the Seaside section, where 
there is a popular amusement colony. 
It is probable that during a good sum- 
mer season the population reaches as 
high as a quarter of a million souls, and 
to these must be added an enormous 
number of "day trippers" and week-end 


Many residents of the Rockaways are 
of the class known as "commuters." 
The men have their employment or bus- 
iness in other parts of the city, and 
travel back and forth daily. Every vil- 
lage contains up-to-date stores of all 
descriptions where food, clothing and 
merchandise of all kinds, and in any 
retail quantity, may be purchased at 
favorable prices. Far Rockaway and 
Rockaway Beach are very well equipped 
in this respect. 

There are not many factories in the 
Rockaways, and the small number 
which exist give employment to very 
few persons. During the summer 
months employment generally is plenti- 
ful, mostly being in connection with 
hotels, boarding houses, bathhouses and 
retail stores. It is the usual practice 
for owners of cottages to rent them out 
for the summer months and reside there 
during the remainder of the year. Con- 
siderable quantities of land are under 
cultivation and mostly produce vegeta- 
bles, for which there is ever a ready 

The fishing industry forms by no 
means an unimportant part in the pro- 
vision of employment. Blackfish, weak- 
fish and bluefish abound, while the 
Rockaway and Woodmere oysters and 
clams have a nation-wide reputation. 
Oyster beds are numerous and profit- 
able and the number of men who "fol- 
low the bay" is considerable. 

County Boundaries 
The whole of Far Rockaway and all 
other villages westward to Rockaway 
T'oint form the Fifth Ward of the Bor- 
ough of Queens, which is one of the five 
boroughs constituting the city of Great- 
er New York. The remaining villages 
of Inwood, Lawrence, Cedarhurst, 
Woodsburgh, Woodmere and Hewlett 
are in Nassau County, which bounds 
Queens County on the east. Nassau 
County was created out of Queens 
County when Greater New York was 
elevated on January 1st, 1898, and the 
peninsula, which has its own geograph- 
ical and communal entity, was then 
divided and governed in the arbitrary 
manner — so far as the Queens County 
portion of it is concerned — under which 
it is governed today. The reader is re- 
ferred to the maps published with this 
\'olume for a more complete under- 
standing of boundaries and locations. 

Geological Characteristics 
The geological formation of the pen- 
insula is as varied as can be desired. 
The settlement of Edgemere and all of 
the westerly end consists of sand, much 
of which has been pumped in to make 
a more solid foundation than was af- 
forded by the sandy marshes, which 
existed before real estate developers 
and builders took a hand in the matter. 
The other villages are on solid terra 
firma and lakes, woods and streams 
abound. There is no rock formation or 

The climate is at all times extremely 
bracing and this is one of the principal 
reasons for the great popularity of the 
peninsula. The summer heat is always 
tempered with gentle breezes from the 
ocean and the bay, and the severity of 
the winter's cold is greatly alleviated, 
and often made pleasant, by warm 
winds blowing over water heated by the 
Gulf Stream, which flows past these 
shores in its journey from the Gulf of 
Mexico to Ireland. 



CONSIDERABLE interest has been 
and is displayed in the origin of 
the word "Rockaway." Reliable 
historians agree that the name is a cor- 
ruption of the word "Reckouwacky," the 
latter being the name chosen by a tribe 
of the Carnarsee Indians when they 
established themselves at Rockaway 
Neck. "Reckouwacky" means "the place 
of our own people," and was used by 
this sub-tribe to distinguish their place 
from other places, such as Mispat (now 
Maspeth), and Jameco (now Jamaica), 
which were occupied by tribes they had 
conquered. If the reader will enunciate 
the name in the gutteral tones used by 
Indians it will readily be seen that the 
altered spelling is easily accounted for. 

Another name used by some writers 
is Rekanawahaha, "the place of laugh- 
ing waters," but the reason for ascrib- 
ing the former use of this name, which 
is certainly an admirable one, appears 
to have had its foundation more in 
poetry than reliable data. 

The Carnarsee tribe was part of the 
Mohegan tribe of the great Mohawk 
nation. This tribe inhabited the whole 
of Long Island, and sold it to the Dutch 
in 1640. Although they parted with 
title to their land they still occupied 
portions of it and paid annual rents, 
usually in the form of a specified num- 
ber of bushels of wheat. 

Although all titles to Rockaway prop- 
erty are properly carved out of the 
Palmer patent, granted by the English 
Governor Dongan to John Palmer, and 
that grant is the earliest recorded docu- 
ment in relation to the Rockaways, it 
is not correct to conclude or suppose 
that this is the earliest historical men- 
tion of the Rockaways. 

In 1642 a conference was held in "the 
woods near Rockaway" between Dutch 
envoys, headed by one De Vries, and six- 
teen sachems, representing Indian 
tribes, who complained of wrongs in- 
flicted upon them by the Dutch. At 
this meeting, we are told, "addresses of 
simple pathos were made and the Ind- 
ians emphasized the wrongs complained 
of by laying down a twig for each com- 
plaint." Apparently the Indians were 
not satisfied, and reprisals were made 
during the winter, but in the spring 
they relented as they desired to plant 
their corn and wished for peace with 

the paleface people. Accordingly they 
sent three delegates from the wigwams 
of their great chief, Penhawitz, to Fort 
Amsterdam (Manhattan Island), where 
Governor Kieft was stationed with his 
forces. They bore a white flag, but the 
Hollanders did not trust them and only 
two of their number volunteered to go 
out of the fort to meet the Indians. 
These were De Vries and Jacob Olfert- 

"Our chief has sent us," said the sav- 
ages, "to know why you have killed his 
people, who have never laid a straw in 
your way nor done you ought but good? 
Come and speak to our chief on the sea 
coast." Setting out with the messen- 
gers, De Vries and Olfertsen in the 
evening came to "Reckouwacky," or 
Rockaway, where they found nearly 
three hundred savages and thirty wig- 
gams. The chief, who had but one eye, 
invited them to pass the night in his 
cabin and regaled them with oysters 
and fish. 

As the years passed, life between the 
settlers and the Indians became more 
peaceful and the number of white 
settlers at Hemsteede (now Hemp- 
stead), meaning "homestead," Jamaica 
and Flushing greatly increased. 

In 1685 the Reckouwacky or Rocka- 
way tribe had their headquarters at 
Hog Island, now known as Barnum's 
Island, in Woodmere Bay. Tacka- 
poucha of Madnan's Neck (now Little 
Neck), was tribal chief, and the Rock- 
away sachem or sub-tribal chief was 
Paman. At that time the Indians were 
paying to the English Governor an an- 
nual rent of "five bushels of good win- 
ter wheat" and of course their title was 
merely one of occupancy. They agreed 
to sell their interest in Rockaway Neck, 
as it was then called, for the sum of 
£31-2-0 in British money. 

A deed was drawn on October 6th, 
1685, and executed with due ceremonies 
two days later. This deed was a con- 
veyance by the tribe of Indians through 
their chiefs, Tackapoucha and Paman, 
of "the whole of that tract of Rockaway 
Neck and beach extending from a line 
on the West, known as Wells Line, not 
far from the turnpike, to the point of 
the beach on the west at the inlet at 
Jamaica Bay." This "point of the 
beach" was at that time a short distance 



west of what is now known as Wave 
Crest. To-day the "point of the beach" 
or, as it is now called, Rockaway Point, 
owing partly to the action of the ocean 
and partly to artificial means, is about 
seven miles further west than it was 
in 1685. 

The deed, which is on record, was 
executed by the two Indian chiefs in 
the presence of seven witnesses, three 
white men and four Indians. The white 
men wrote their names and the Indians 
marked their symbols. A copy of the 
signatures and marks attached to the 
historic document is re-produced in this 

At the time of the execution of the 
deed the Rockaways consisted of 
meadow and marsh land used occasion- 
ally by a few Indians for grazing their 
horses and cattle upon. 

The sale by the Indians to Palmer 
was licensed by the English Governor 
and confirmed by him as the King's rep- 
resentative, in the form of a warrant or 
grant on November 3rd, 1685. In return 
for the privilege Palmer agreed to pay 
a quit rent of a bushel of wheat an- 
nually. The same Governor was after- 


wards attacked by His Majesty's Gov- 
ernment for showing favoritism, and 
one of the acts alleged against him was 
that in abuse of the power reposed in 
him, he had given Rockaway Neck to his 

favorite. Palmer, without any good con- 
sideration. This accusation was for- 
ally made in a long indictment of 
charges which caused his removal as 
Governor and subsequent disgrace. Be- 
fore his removal he made a categorical 

i J. ^.J. 


reply to his accusers and the charge of 
favoritism in disposing of the Rock- 
aways, which reply shows that he 
thought the territory of small value. 
The answer reads as follows : Gover- 
nor Dongan's reply to the sixteenth ac- 
cusation concerning Rockaway Neck, 
given to the British Government on 
February 22nd, 1687. 

"Mr. Stanten" (his accuser), "poor 
man neither understands his own nor 
others concerns, he was one of the Coun- 
cil himself when Capt. Palmer peti- 
tioned for license to purchase this land, 
lying without the meers & bounds of 
Hempsted & when the same was grant- 
ed & before he had his patent granted, 
the people of Hempsted were summoned 
to appear to show cause, if they had any 
why it should not be granted. There- 
upon one person came to mee & told mee 
that it was his land & that it was within 
the meers & bounds of Hempstead on 
which I ordered him to put a Caveat into 
the Secry's office against the passing of 
Judge Palmer's patent, and then the sur- 
veyor went to survey the lands accom- 
panied by some of the inhabitants of 
Hempstead, to show him their bounds 
who returning this land to be without 
their meers & bounds the patent was 
passed in which Captn Palmer is ex- 
pressly bounded where hee adjoins to 
Hempsted by their line. And wherein 
hee says the Hempsted people were 
frighted to let their Suits fall, its quite 
otherwise, for the Pearsall, upon the 
granting of this Patent got into pes- 



.session of this land, inasmuch as Judge 
Palmer was forced to commence suits 
against him Where after it had some- 
time depended, Pearsall iinding that to 
insist on his pretense would not avail 
him, and as for his being frighted into 
it by Captn Palmers being Judge, 
there's noe such thing for on purpose 
he himself withdrew & left the manage- 
ment of that Court to his Collegue, 
Judge Nicolls and as for the lands being 
the only pasture for the town its wholly 
false for its no pasture at all, being all 
woodland, and that town having a plain 
of upwards of 40,000 acres of good 
pasture without a stick upon it & as for 
its value I believe Judge Palmer would 
think himself obliged to Captn Santen 
or any others that would give him two 
hundred pounds for it." 

The foregoing will show that from the 
earliest days the Rockaway Title formed 
the subject of dispute and many Rock- 
away men living to-daj' will agree that 
in some sections, mostly near the water- 
front, disputes are still continued. 

The Town of Hempstead objected to 
the sale of Rockaway Neck in 1685, 
alleging that Tackapousha had no au- 
thority to sell as the land belonged to 
the town. They commenced an action 
to upset the grant and conveyance to 
Palmer and asked for possession. They 
were defeated and had to pay costs of 
the action. The following notice call- 
ing a town meeting to approve the ac- 
counts and paj^ments is worthy of re- 

"John Smith, 

"Justis of ye Peace. 

"At a towne meeting held in hemp- 
stedd november ye 27. 1699 it was 
voted and concluded by a maior vote 
yt Justis Smith, Isack Smith, John 
Pine, John ffoster and william Willis 
shall heare ye accoumpts of those yt 
demand mony of ye towne Conserning 
ye tryall aboute Rockaway and 
macke Returne to ye towne for theire 
aprobation in yt matter. 

"By order 

"Joseph Pettit. Clerck." 

In those days Rockaway was consid- 
ered an outlying portion of the Town 
of Hempstead, an important Long Island 
town even then. Being also close to 
Jamaica, its communications with that 
town were among the earliest to be 
opened. The history of Rockaway has 

always been closely associated with the 
history of Hempstead and Jamaica. 

Two years after Palmer obtained his 
grant or title to Rockaway, from the 
British Government, he sold the prop- 
erty to Richard Cornell, an ironmaster 
of Flushing. The consideration or 
price, contrary to the custom of those 
days, was not mentioned in the deed of 
conveyance, dated August 23rd, 1687, 
which refers to it in a simple manner 
by calling it "valuable." 

This is of special interest in view of 
the record that on August 20th, 1687, 
Richard Cornell and his wife, Elizabeth, 
sold to John Palmer one-third of a tract 
at Madnan's Neck, formerly granted by 
Governor Nicholls to Thomas Hicks, and 
which was sold in 1666 by Hicks to 

The name Cornell was also spelled 
Cornwell and Cornwall, the family 
being one of the most prominent, and 
wealthiest on Long Island. Cornell 
University, New York, was founded by 
Ezra Cornell, who was a lineal descend- 
ant of the original Rockaway Cornell. 

It is interesting also to note, in pass- 
ing, that in 1667, Palmer was appointed 
by Governor Nicholls to enroll the 
militia in Queens County, and that 
Richard Cornell in 1670 was "permit- 
ted to sell liquors and powder to the 

Richard Cornell was born in the 
Countv of Essex, England, in 1625, 
came to America with his parents and 
settled later at Cornbury, Flushing, 
where he purchased considerable prop- 
erty. In addition to the Rockaway pur- 
chase the records show that in 1684 
Tackapousha and other Indians sold to 
Richard Cornhill (Cornell), and others, 
all the land called Flushing, bounded 
west by Flushing Creek, south by the 
Jamaica line, east by Hempstead and 
north by the Sound. 

The First White Settlers 

Richard Cornell settled at Rockaway 
with his family in 1690. It is a matter 
of great doubt and one upon which no 
definite information or data exists as to 
whether any houses were here before 
1690, when Cornell erected a large 
frame structure for the use of himself 
and his family. It seems a safe pre- 
sumption that except for a few huts, 
probably used by Indians, the Cornell 



house, of which we herewith give a re- 
production, was the first ever built at 

In addition to the purchase from 
Palmer, Cornell also purchased adjoin- 
ing property to enlarge his holdings. 
On December 26th, 1690, John Smith of 
Hempstead, sold and conveyed to Cor- 
nell a large tract adjoining the easterly 
end of Cornell's property. 

The Cornell homestead overlooked the 
Atlantic Ocean and was at Far Rock- 

ship-wrecked settlers supposed to be 
pioneers in this section may be treated 
as mere gossip and the legitimate and 
clear line be established of the very 
much alive and real persons who were 
the actual pioneers and active settlers 
and cultivators of this highly impor- 
tant, if outlying section, of the great- 
est and most progressive city in the 

The name of the first settler has been 
the cause of considerable confusion, 


away. A picture of this house was 
painted by Rebecca Hubbard Cornell, a 
grand-daughter of the first Cornell. The 
house was demolished in 1833 to make 
way for the Marine Pavilion, on the site 
of which it formerly stood. 

The Cornells were the original set- 
tlers in Rockaway and all titles to prop- 
erty here are deduced from theirs. For 
that reason we have thought it advisable 
to dwell at considerable length on the 
history of that family, believing that 
by so doing, the traditional stories of 

owing to the faulty orthography of the 
period. Cornell is the real name. By a 
corruption of the name in common use 
it was made Cornwell and Cornwall. 

For a number of years Richard Cor- 
nell lived at Rockaway with his wife, 
five sons, three daughters, negro serv- 
ants and farm hands. As the family 
grew, additions were made to the house 
which at last became the rambling 
structure depicted. On the 7th day of 
November, 1693, shortly before he died, 
Cornell made his will, which we repro- 



duce in the following pages. It will 
be noticed that his eldest son, Richard, 
received very little under the document. 
The reason for this was not lack of 
affection on the part of the father for 
his son, but vras owing to the fact that 
the father had made very considerable 
presents of land to his eldest son, 
during his lifetime, and wished his re- 
maining children to have a fair share. 
Cornell had property other than his 
Rockaway home. 

The will, which discloses much faulty 
spelling, although obviously prepared 
by a lawyer or "solicitor" as the pro- 
fession was known under the English 
regime, is filed in the Surrogate's office 
of New York County at the Hall of 
Records, Chambers Street, Manhattan, 
and reads as follows: 

Cornwall's Will of Rockaway 

In the name of God, Amen: the sev- 
enth day of November Anno ye Dom- 
iny 1693 and in the fifth year of the 
reign of our Soveraigne Lord King 
William over England, Richard Cor- 
nell of Rockawaj^ in Queens County 
in ye Island of Nassau in America 
being sick and weeke but of goode 
and perfect minde and memory praise 
be given to God Almighty, yet call- 
ing to minde the uncertainty of this 
Life and how certain wee are to dye 
and yet the time of our death most 
uncertain, do make publish and de- 
clare this my Last Will and Testa- 
men in manner following that is to 
say. First and Principally I com- 
mend my soul into the hands of Al- 
mighty God, my Creator & my body 
I commit to the Earth to be decently 
buried at the Discretion of my Ex- 
ecutors herewith named and as for 
touching and concerning all & every 
such worldly Estate which God of his 
infinite goodness has blest me with 
all in this Life. I give bequeath and 
devise in manner following. Im- 
primis by this my Last Will and 
Testament and doe binde and make 
over all my Lands and Meadows sit- 
uated and lying at Rockaway upon 
the South side of ye island of Nassau 
in the Province of New Yorke. In 
America for the paying & satisfying 
a certain Debt oweing by me to the 
children of John Washburne Deed., 
and in case my Executors do not duly 

pay and satisfye the said debt to ye 
said children as it shall become due 
according to the tennor & the true 
intent of the Will and Testament of 
ye said John Washburne deed. It is 
my minde and will that the overseers 
of this my Will and Testament may 
and shall sell and alienate the afore- 
said lands for ye paj^ment of ye said 
debt & return the overplus to my 
four sons, William, Jacob, Thomas 
and John Cornell. Item. I doe give 
and bequeath unto my son William 
Cornell and his heirs forever a cer- 
tain part of my lands and meadows 
situated att Rockaway as aforesaid 
as hereafter is mentioned (to witt) 
bounded on the north side with the 
old fence upon the South side of the 
last years wheat fields so running 
Easterly to Hempstead line Souther- 
ly by the new sea including all lands 
broken lands. Marshes, beaches, ex- 
cepting such preservacons as shall be 
hereafter menconed (that is to say) 
my now dwelling house with orchard 
and the pasture thereunto adjoining 
with the barns and lands in tillage 
about it with the gardens & springs 
and all other outhouses the which res- 
ervacons I do give and bequeath to 
my dear and loving wife Elizabeth 
Cornell during ye time of her widow- 
hood and my will is that after my said 
wife's death or marriage ye said re- 
servacons shall descend to my son 
William Cornell & to his heirs for- 
ever. Also my will is that improve- 
ments that he shall make upon that 
share or portion of land & meadow 
bought by me of John Smith of 
Hempstead commonly called Little 
Smith after his entry upon the pos- 
session of ye above menconed reser- 
vacons shall immediately depend upon 
my son Thomas Cornell and his heirs 
forever with all the lands & meadow 
which I bought of the aforesaid John 

Item. I give and bequeath to my son 
Thomas Cornell & his heirs forever 
another part of my Land & meadows 
being bounded Southerly with my son 
William Cornell line Northerly by ye 
middle of ye fresh cove that Robert 
Beadels Meadow was laid out in and 
so running easterly to the three rails 
fence and further if it should happen 
and my will is that the said gift shall 
include all meadows broken meadows 



and marshes lying within them Lynes 
to the middle of the fresh cove afore- 

Item. I doe give to my sons Jacob 
and John Cornell all my Lands & 
meadows & to their heirs forever ly- 
ing to the northward of Thomas Cor- 
nells lyne situate att Rockaway afore- 
said bounded northarly with the 
Great River or Cove Easterly by the 
raile fence to equally divided be- 
twixt the said Jacob and John Cor- 
nell according to quantity, quality 
except such reservacons as shall be 
hereafter menconed (to wit) to my 
sons Richard and his heirs forever I 
give and bequeath ten acres of mead- 
ow joining to Wells his line to run 
North & South upon an equal lyne. 
Item. I do give to my son William 
Cornell & to his heirs forever tenn 
acres of Meadow joyning to my sons 
Richards tenn acres & to run in the 
same manner north & south upon an 
equal lyne. 

Item. I doe give to my daughter 
Mary Cornell One hundred pounds 
curr. money of this province of New 
Yorke or equivalent to monej' to be 
payd att three payments (to wit) one- 
third part at the day of her marriage 
or when she shall attain the age of 
eighteen years & the other two-thirds 
to be paid yearly successivel}^ I doe 
also give and bequeath to my said 
daughter Mary the one half of my 
moveables within doors, money ex- 

Item. My mind and will is that 
whilst my wife remains a widow that 
shee shall have the whole & sole use 
of all my lands & meadows att Rock- 
away excepting such lands & mead- 
ows as I have already given & be- 
queathed to my son William which 
said land is to be employed, improved, 
for ye payment of the debt due to the 
children of the aforesaid John Wash- 
burn the maintaining & bringing up 
of the children during their nonage. 
Item. I doe give and bequeath to 
my loving wife while she continues 
unmarried the whole and sole com- 
mand and use of all my negroes and 
stock with all utensils of husbandry 
now in my possession to be used and 
imployed for payment of all my 
debts & the maintenance of her chil- 
dren during their minority excepting 
six cows and calves & one plow share 

with colter & cheins which I give to 
my son William also excepting twelve 
two heifers which I give to my 
twelve grandchildren to be delivered 
when they become of age that is to 
ye children of my sons Richard, my 
son Washborn & my son John Law- 

Item. I do give to my daughter Sarah 
Arnold two cows. Further my will 
and mind is that if any of my said 
sons William, Thomas, Jacob & John 
or my daughter Mary shall happen to 
dye without heirs male to their own 
bodys that then the lands shall re- 
turn to the survivors to be equally 
divided amongst them. 
Item, my mind and will is that if 
my wife should see cause to marry 
again that then she shall have one 
hundred pounds paid by the Execu- 
tors out of my Estate with one half 
of the moveables within doors (money 
excepted) and one negro girle called 
by the name of Jane that she shall 
not continue Executrix any longer but 
surrender up the whole of the estate 
personall to my other Executors which 
I will be equally divided amongst my 
four sons, Willm., Jacob, Thomas & 
John. Excepting my negro man 
James and my negro woman Diana 
which I give & bequeath to my son 
William after the death or marriage 
of my said Wife and the lands given 
by me to Thomas, Jacob & John after 
the death or marriage of my wife. 
I will that it be returned also to my 
executors to be improved for the pay- 
ment of debts and bringing them up 
till they come of age 
Item. My will and mind is that the 
lands upon Cowneck and Crab 
Meadow be sold to the value thereof 
and be equally divided amongst all 
my children in general. 
Item. It is my will that my right to 
the undivided land in ye bounds of 
Hempstead shall descend to my five 
sons to be equally divided amongst 

Item. My will and mind is that my 
four sons, Richard, Thomas, Jacob & 
John shall have liberty to put up 
horses upon the beach if they see 
cause they assisting in maintaining 
the fence & Thomas shall have liberty 
to put on swine upon the beach with 
his brother Willm., and that Jacob & 
John if thev see cause to build bv 

DHjiji-iUi o nioiuxvi ur ixiji, xvui^ivii vv a i o 

the path syde of ye eastward of my 
dwelling house & on ye land pur- 
chased of Little Smith. I doe give to 
each of them & their heirs two acres 
of said lands, my will is that all 
money in the house at my decease and 
all my debts due either by bill or bond 
or any other account shall be im- 
ployed to the payment of ye children 
of the deed., John Washburn and 
Captain Charles Ledwick. I doe or- 
dain & make my loving Wife Eliza- 
beth Cornell and my sons Richard & 
Will Cornell to be my whole & sole 
executors of this my last will & Testa- 
ment as also my trusty and loving 
friends Coll. Thomas Willett, Lieut. 
Coll. Thomas Hicks, & Capt. Daniell 
Whitehead as overseers of this my 
will desiring them to see ye severall 
articles & clauses, therein mentioned 
performed according to the true in- 
tent and meaning thereof and it is 
my will that my sayd executors shall 
not act as Executors without the ad- 
vice and approvacon of my said over- 
seers hereby revoaking all former 
wills by me made and declaring this 
to be my last Will & Testament the 
day & year first above written. In 
witness whereof I have hereunto sett 
my hand and seale." 
The Cornell lands were divided ac- 
cording to the will. Other settlers to 
whom land was sold or leased, erected 

houses and the place became a rural 

The old method of fixing boundaries 
is interesting, but it was far from satis- 
factory and led to many disputes. 

In the early part of the eighteenth 
century, other owners of lands at Eock- 
away are mentioned, the earliest record- 
ed names being those of Mott, Hicks, 
Brower, Smith and Hewlett. Residents 
of Hempstead town interchanged visits 
with Rockaway residents. The old 
church of St. George's Hempstead was 
the nearest place of worship and the 
records state that publication of the 
"bans of marriage" of Richard Corn- 
well and Miriam Mott was duly made 
by the Reverend John Thomas, on Feb- 
ruary 8th, 1712. When the Rev. Thomas 
died, in 1726, his will was proved by 
John Cornell of Rockaway, one of the 

The following names are some of 
those who married children and grand- 
children of Richard Cornell: John Law- 
rence, John Washburn, William Creed, 
Richard Betts, Mirriam Mott, Joseph 
Doughty, John Carman, Nicholas Stil- 
well, Thomas Hicks, Elizabeth Smith, 
Hannah Van Wyck, Abigail Whitehead, 
Patience Oakly, James Denton, James 
Stringham, Jonathan Hazard, Susannah 
Willett, Henry Foster, Abigail Eldred, 
Elizabeth Abrams, Daniel Waters and 
Margaret Hicks. 


THE following document, which ap- 
pears on the records of the Town 
of Hempstead, goes to pi-ove that 
there were no white men resident in the 
Rockaways in 1671, and the relations 
between the colonists and the Indians 
were far from being of a friendly 

At a Towne Meeting held the 25th 
April 1671. 

By a generall Vote it was Ordered, 
That no Person or Persons inhabiting 
within this Towne or the Liberties 
thereof, shall plow or break up any 
Planting Land for the Indyans, nor 
shall no way assist them therein, under 
the Penalty of fforfeiting for every 
day, or part of a dayes work, so by any 
sone as aforesaid, twenty shillings, to 
the use of the Towne. It is also fur- 

ther Ordered, That Mr. John Hicks, 
George Hewlett and John Jackson, do 
go downe to Rockaway tomorrow, and 
forewarn all Indyans to depart thence, 
except such as do really belong to that 
place. And that the said Rockaway 
Indyans do give no Encouragement, nor 
suffer any other strange Indyans to I'e- 
side or continue with them, upon any 
pretense whatsoever. And that the Per- 
sons aforenamed do lay out the quantity 
of about fforty Acres of Land for plant- 
ing of Corne for the supply of such a 
Number of ffamilys of Indyans, as are 
belonging to the said place, being about 
ten. It being so formerly Ordered by 
the Governour. 

By Ord. of the said Towne Court. 
Rich'd Charlton, 



At a town convention held in Hemp- 
stead on February 28th, 1665, laws for 
governing the town were made. One 
interesting edict declared that all horses 
and cattle belonging to residents of 
Hempstead should be branded with the 
capital letter "G." This was no doubt 
to guard against thefts by the Indians. 

Motts Were Early Residents 

Adam Mott sen and Adam Mott Junr 
and Mary Mott wife of Adam Mott, 
senior and Elizabeth Mott wife of Adam 
Mott Junr. living at Rockaway for con- 
sideration of three hundred pounds to 
us paid heirof by John Mott. for Tract 
up Lott of land situate and Lying at a 
place called Rockaway bounded as fol- 
lows: — Beginning at a White Oak Tree 
standing near the fence of John Cornel 
marked on four sides and with the let- 
ter "A" and from thence South forty 
five degrees Eastward eleven chains to 
a Black oak marked on four sides and 
from thence East thirty two Degrees 
Seventy Chains to a Red Oak Marked 
on four sides Standing by the Road and 
from thence North Fifteen Degrees 
West Eight Chains and from thence 
Northwest thirty four Chain along the 
Road to a Black Oak Marked on four 
sides and from thence West twenty six 
Chains and from thence West Nineteen 
Degrees South Eleven Chains to a 
White Oak marked on four sides and 
from thence South fifteen Degrees east 
twenty three chains to a white Oak 
Marked on four sides etc. 

One Lott of said meadow Lying at 
the said Rockaway bound east by tlie 
Highway West by the said John Mott, 
north by the great Crick and South by 
the aforesaid Bargained and Demised 
Lands all within the said bounds both 
salt meadow and Bogs upland and 
swamp be it more or Less as it shall be 
found with the appurtenances and the 
other Lott of Salt meadow ground Lying 
on Hungry Harbour Neck Bounded East 
by Samuel Williams Meadow North by 
the Core and west by the Core and 
South by the aforementioned Creek. 

This twenty Eighth Day of Novem- 
ber, seventeen Hundred and Nineteen. 

Division of Hempstead Lands 

On account of troubles and disputes 
over titles and boundaries in the Town 
of Hempstead, a general town meeting 
was held at Hempstead on October 14th, 
1723, to endeavor to arrive at a method 
whereby future disputes might be 
avoided and proper and unmistakable 
boundaries of lands within the town 

As a result of the meeting it was 
"voted and agreed by the major part 
of the freeholders and inhabitants" to 
laj" out their lands in a manner to be 
arranged by the following persons 
elected and commissioned for that pur- 
pose: Colonel Isaac Hicks, James Sear- 
ing, James Jackson, William Willis, Sr., 
Benjamin Seaman, Jr., Joshua Carman 
and Abel Smith. These men started 
work and decided on fifty proprietors to 
whom the lands should be allotted. 
They divided the town into plots of one 
hundred acres, iiftj' acres and twenty- 
two acres each and apportioned thirty 
shillings worth of land for every shill- 
ing paid by the proprietors toward the 
general patent of Hempstead of Octo- 
ber 14th, 1723. The commissioners 
chose the names of the most ancient 
and authentic inhabitants from the best 
records they could find and after sev- 
eral years of labor upon the division 
made their report. During the time oc- 
cupied by their researches, delibera- 
tions and decisions, several of the 
elected commissioners died, and their 
report was signed by the following sur- 
vivors: Isaac Hicks, James Searing, 
Joshua Carman and Abel Smith. 

The report, known as the "Division of 
Hempstead lands 1723," was presented 
to and approved by the town on "Janu- 
ary 23rd, 1741-2." The report, which 
may be seen on the records of the town, 
gives the names of the proprietors, lo- 
cation and size of lots, but space pre- 
cludes us giving more than the names 
of the proprietors in the following list: 
Abel Smith, George Hewlet, Lewis 
Hewlet, Daniel Hewlet, John Pearsall, 
John Langdon and his widow, Thomas 
Langdon, John Durland, George Balden, 
James Jackson, Arthur Alburtice, John 
Abrams, John Elderd, Benjamin Hicks, 
Thomas Hicks, Silas Titus, Henry Pear- 
sall, Jonathan Coe, Samuel Coe, James 
Searing, John Searing, Elias Baley, Solo- 
mon Seaman, Mary Demot, Daniel Pine, 



John Pine, John Aleson, William Van 
Velser, Peter Losee, Jonas Flower, 
Thomas Doxey, Thomas Gildersleave, 
John Combs, Captain Joseph Langdon, 
Benjamin Dusenborrow, John Lining- 
ton, John Stits, Daniel Bedell, Richard 
Southard, Colman Combs, Robert Mitch- 
el, Williams Huchings, Henry Alen, 
William Thorne, Joshua Barnes, iVIichael 
Demot, Nathaniel Oakley, George Ever- 
itt, John Smith, Lewis Hewlet, Joshua 
Carman, Anthony Demott, John Hicks, 
John Mott. 

Grant of Hicks Beach 

An important grant of beach lands 
to Captain Jacob Hicks was made on 
June 7th, 1725. We reproduce the docu- 
ment verbatim: 

Wee Whose Names hereunto Sub- 
scribed have Given and Granted and by 
these presents do freely Clearly and Ab- 
solutelj^ Give and Grant from us and our 
Heirs Exets Admrs and Assigns Unto 
Capt Jacob Hicks of Rockaway in ye 
Bounds of Hempstead in Queens Coun- 
ty his Heirs Executors Admrs. all our 
Right Title Interest Part or share be- 
longing to a Beach Lying on ye South 
Side of ye Island in ye Bounds of Hemp- 
stead aforesd. att a place called Rock- 
away, Bounded as followeth, West by 
Whelses Line South by the sea East by 
Brockelface Gutt and North by ye 
Great Creek, together with all ye 
Marshes and other Privilidges There- 
unto belonging or in any Wise Apper- 
taining to him ye said Jacob Hicks his 
Heirs and Assigns forever. Given Un- 
der our hands and seals ye Seventh Day 
of June in ye Eleventh year of his 
Majestys Reign Anno Domini 1725 

Joseph : J : Mott. 

William Willis 
William Stits 

George : B : Balden 

Samuel Jackson 
Jacob Seaman 
James Seamans 
Benjamin Birdsall 
John Birdsall 
Henry Pearsall 
Epheraim Valentine. 

Peter Tilas 
Isaac Smith 
Christifer Dinger 
Silas Titus. 
Benjamin Seamans 
Joshua Barns 
Ben Hicks 
John Treadwell 
Joseph Pettit. 
Samuel Seamans 
Jacob Smith. 

Rich'd: x: Elison. 

James Jackson. 

Samuel Titas Rich'd Seamans 

Thomas Pearsall. His 

George Pearsall Abel : S : Smith 

Obediah : : Vallantine 

The original grant was made to 
Thomas Hicks, who, in 1660, obtained 
a patent from Madnans (Great) Neck 
from Governor Nicholls. This was 
later divided and disputes arose. A 
court decision in 1680 divided this land 
equally between Captain John Hicks, 
Richard Cornell and one Haviland. 

The Welles Line. 

The Welles (or Wells) line, mentioned 
in many deeds relating to property in 
Rockaway, and other parts north of 
Rockaway on Long Island, was so called 
from the name of the surveyor, Phillip 
Welles, who laid the line in a survey 
he made for Cornell's company in 1684. 
Owing to the fact that the boundaries 
and points of measurement named by 
Welles were difficult or impossible to 
identify in later years, the true line is 
a matter of surmise. The method of 
surveying being so primitive and lack- 
ing permanency, has 0(icasioned many 
disputes as to title, and innumerable 
expensive law suits have resulted. 

The Welles report is detailed here- 
with, verbatim: 

"Survaied and laid out for Mr. 
Richard Cornwell Sener and Com- 
paney A certaine tract of land be- 
ing siteuat and lyeing on the east 
side of Cow Neck upon Long Island 
According to An Indian purchase 
baring date begin- 

ing at A Red & white aoke Trees one 
the North side a small Creek knowne 
by the Indian name of Snakeroe 
Creek one the West side of Long Neck 
from therre into the woods South East 
& by East two degrees and fifteene 
minits southerly ninety six Chaines to 
the Indian Line in the Midle of the 
Neck then by said Line South foure 
degrees Easterly twentey to a White 
oake tree neare the head of a small 
Swamp from therre East by North 
one degree and fortey five Minnits, 
Northerly seventy-six Chaines to the 
Bay, twelve Chaines to the south of 



the poynt wheare Mans sloope was 
Cast away and from therre by the 
Sound to the first small Creek Includ- 
ing A small Island with Meadows 
Conteining in all nine hundred sixty 
Akers performed this 25th. Day of 

"Philip Welles, Survr." 

The 966 acres surveyed adjoined the 
land purchased from Tackapousha in 
1684, as previously mentioned, and asso- 
ciates of Cornell in this purchase were 
John Lawrence, his son-in-law, John 
Washburn, Captain John Hicks and 
Elias Doughty. 

In an attempt to re-locate the Wells 
Line the easterly boundary of the 
Rockaways, which had been referred to 
in many deeds and sales of land but 
which even then could not be located, 
the following commissioners report in 
1727 throws some light: 

May the 8th and 9th 1727. Then wee 
Justice John Treadwell, Cap. Benjamin 
Hick, John Allison Jacob Smith, 
Thomas Williams, John Mott Juner and 
Thomas Gildersleeve did pursewant to 
a voat made by the mager voat of the 
freeholders of Hempstead did aid and 
assist Doctor Calding ye jeneral sur- 
vaior of the province of New York. In 
Runing of our West Line which is our 
west bonds according to our purches 
and patians which is a direct South 
line due south from the head of Mat- 
thewgarisons bay to the South Sea. be- 
ginning at a burch tree at ye sd bay 
head did run thrao Samuel Smiths barn 
on the South side of the Little plains 
and thrao Thomas Cornels barn on 
Rockaway and so to the sea that same 
cors as a fore said. 

This entered by me. 

Thomas Gildersleeve. 


By his will dated January 16th, 1741, 
John Cornell of Rockaway, Colonel of 
Queens County militia, who died in 
1745, left a life interest in his estate 
to his widow Letitia, with a reversion 
to their daughter Gloriana. On Aug- 
ust 1st. 1748, the widow gave a bond for 
the value of the estate, gave her late 
husband's eight slaves their freedom 
and next day married Captain John 

An Early Jury Verdict 
On September 15th, 1768, a judicial 
decree signed by jury and judges, laid 
out highways and defined gateways, 20 
feet wide, at Rockaway in the township 
of Hempstead from "the late Land 
Commonly Called and known by the 
Name of Rocks' Point Running through 
the Land belonging to Mrs. Gloriana 
Foster. Also another gate way on Road 
twenty feet Wide Runing through Said 
Mrs Foster's Land begining Easterly 
from the House where John Foster Now 
Lives at the above mentioned Gateway 
or Road from thence Runing Northerly 
as the path or Road Now Runs untill 
it Comes to East End of Mrs. Helena 
Cornells Meadow at Finger Island So 
Called always allowing the Said Mrs 
Gloriana Foster and her heirs and As- 
signs to pass and Repass Along Said 
Ways without any hendrance whatso- 

The Justices and all the Jury have 
agreed an Order that Mrs Helena Cor- 
nell Shall pay unto Mrs Gloriana Foster 
fourteen pounds for the lands laid into 
Highways as above. 

Witness our hands the 15th day of 
September 1768. 

Isaacs Smith) 

S. Clowes \ 

The Jury's names were also signed 
by them. 

Richard Hewlett, 

Leffurt Hougovout, 

Jen Stephens, 

Isaac Hendrickson, 

Frederick Nostrandt, 

Hendrick Hendrickson, 

Benjamin Carmon, 

Nathan Smith. 

Michal Demot. 

John Oakly. 

Harmon Hendrickson. 

John Montoney. 

Judges in Queens in 1693 

The Civil List of the Province of New 
York contains a list of all officers em- 
ployed in civil offices on the 20th day of 
April, 1693. 

Justices in Queens County. 

Thomas Hix, Esqr., Judge of the Com- 
mon Pleas. 

Richard Cornwall, Ellias Doughty, 
Dan. Whitehead, John Smith and Tho. 
Stevensant, Esqrs., Justices. 

John Harrison Esqr., Sherriffe. 

Andrew Gibb, Gierke. 




The following is a complete list appearing on record of the inhabitants 
of the Town of Hempstead in the year 1673 : 

John Smith Blew 
Richard Geldersly, 
Richard Geldersly 
Vrolphert Jacobs 
Jan Carman 
John Symons jun 
Robert Jackson 
Symon Troy 
John Smith 
Peter Janse Schol 
Richard Gildersly 
Robbert Beedill 
George Hallet 
Samuel Allen 
Richard Valentyn 
Kaleb Carman 
John Williams 
Thomas Richmore 
John EUesson 
Edward Spry 
William Osborne 
Edward Remsen 
John Fossaker 
John Sorram 
James Payne 
William Fixton 
Samuel Denton 
Robberd Hobbs 
Thomas Sodderd 
John Smith jun 
Joseph Williams 
Ralph Haal 
Daniel Beedell 
John Jackson 
Johnathan Smith 
John Champion 
John Hobbs 

John Lange 
Sen Jonathan Semmes 
John Bordes 
Robbard Marisseu 
Mos. Hemmery 
John Beets carpenter 
Samuel Embry 
Matthew Beedel 
Thomas Ellison 
Philip Davis 

Adam View 
Edward Titus 
Richard Ellison 
John Seavin 
Thomas Teasay 
Thomas Ireland 
Thomas Ellison 
Joseph Gem 
Thomas Champion 
Joseph Pettet 
Richard Plotter 
John Beddell 
Thomas Southward 
John Beates 
Calvet Goullet 
Christoffel Yeomans 
John Woully 
Edward Banbury 
Thomas Gowes 
John Mavein 
Wm. Thorne 
Joshua Watske 
Benjamin Symensen 
Jan Roelssen 

Elbert Hubssen 
Lewis Liot 
John Ellison jun 
Thomas Seabrook 
Samuel Jackson 
John Pine 
Peter Jansen 
William Ware 
Solomon Semmar 
Teunis Smith 
Richard Valentine jun 
Joseph Wood 
Herman Flouwer 
William Dose 
Symon Foster 
Henry Mott 
Wm. Fourmer 
Joseph Small 
Walter Pine 
Josia Carmen 
John Peacock 
John Quakenson 
Thomas Daniels 
John Napper 
Richard Osborn 
George Robbert 
Charles Abram 
Thomas Appelbe 
Samuel Smith 


Adam Mott, Jun 
Samuel Jackson 
Joseph Truax 
John Hoyt and 
Nine others whose 
names are lost. 

A commission as surgeon in the 
Queens County regiment of militia was 
granted to Dr. Ebenezer Lockwood of 
Far Rockaway on March 30th, 1809, by 
Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, and the 
surgeon's son, Benjamin C. Lockwood, 
also of Far Rockaway, was commis- 
sioned by Governor Enos T. Throop on 
October 30th, 1832, as Adjutant of the 
Second Regiment of New York Horse 

The Lockwood family was very prom- 
inent at Rockaway. A sale is recorded 

on May 14th, 1836, when Benjamin C. 
Lockwood sold to Joseph Abrams of 
Hempstead, fifteen acres of good land 
for $170. 

On September 1st, 1803, Richard Cor- 
nell leased his sixth share of his 
father's estate for a period of three 
years and eight months to Joel Overton. 
In return, Overton paid Cornell $25 a 
year in cash and provided him with his 
board, washing, lodging and mending, 
which he valued, according to the lease, 
at the additional sum of $55 annually. 




THE Cornell Partition Suit was the 
result of disputes having arisen 
with regard to the ownership and 
division of lands in the present Far 
Rockaway to Rockaway Beach area of 
the peninsula. The Cornell heirs pe- 
titioned the Queens Court of Common 
Pleas, and the Court appointed commis- 
sioners to map out and divide the sec- 

On receipt of the Commissioners' re- 
port the Judges, on June 14th, 1809, 
made their award. At that time the 
western end of the beach reached only 
to a point about where Eighth avenue, 
Rockaway Park, now is. 

The partition was made by John Van 
Nostrand, Uriah Pearsall and Law- 
rence Denton, "commissioners appoint- 
ed by the Honorable the Judges and 
assistant Justices of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas held at the Court House in 
North Hempstead in and for the County 
of Queens on the second Tuesday of 
November in the year of Our Lord, 
1808, to make partition of all and singu- 
lar that certain tract of beach or hill 
covered with cedars . . . situate at 
a place called Far Rockaway in the 
town of Hempstead, County of Queens 
and State of New York bounded south 
by the Atlantic Ocean, westerly by the 
gut or Jamaica Inlet, so called north- 
erly partly by the bay and partly by 
creeks, easterly partly by land belong- 
ing to John Mott, Cornaga and Ezekiel 
Jennings, then northerly by land and 
meadows belonging to Benjamin Corn- 
well, then easterly by the west line of 
the patent of Hempstead and contain- 
ing by estimation 2,000 acres." 

Of this area the commissioners made 
two divisions known as First division, 
the western section of the beach, and 
Second division, the eastern section. 
The first section was divided into six- 
teen plots and the second into fifteen, 
all of them as nearly equal in value as 
it was considered possible to make 
them, and a division of the marsh land 
to the north went with the division of 
the beach to the same proprietor. The 
allotments of plots were made as fol- 
lows: — 

First division : 

Plots 1, 8, 16, William Cornwell; 

Plot 2, Ruliff Duryea, Jr.; Plots 3 and 
13, Henry Mott; Plots 4 and 14, 
Alice Martin; Plot 5, John Cornaga; 
Plots 6 and 7, Thomas and Rachel Ban- 
nister; Plots 9 and 15, John Cornwell; 
Plot 10, Nathaniel Ryder for John Mott; 
Plot 11, John Nostrand, and Plot 12, 
John Abrams. 

Second division: 

Plots 1, 6 and 14, William Cornwell; 
Plots 2 and 7, John Cornwell; Plot 3, 
John Cornaga; Plots 4 and 5, Thomas 
and Rachel Bannister; Plot 8, Nathan- 
ial Ryder for John Mott; Plot 9, John 
Nostrand; Plot 10, James Abrams; 
Plots 11 and 15, Henry Mott, and Plots 
12 and 13, Alice Martin. 

While this partition suit established 
more definite boundaries than had be- 
fore existed the division lines were not 
sufficiently definite to prevent many 
quarrels and much litigation as to the 
exact boundaries of the various lots. 
By a curious oversight, the centre line 
on which all surveys were based was in- 
definite and thereby led to all the con- 
tention which followed. Although the 
numbers of the various lots and the ex- 
act dimensions of each lot, the grant 
of which included all beach and under 
l)ay rights, was beyond question, it was 
found impossible to decide upon the 
exact location in the absence of a basis 
line from which to compute distances. 
This muddled state of affairs was con- 
siderably added to by the disagreements 
of surveyors who failed to agree upon 
a common method of deciding upon the 
line. In a title suit in 1878, Justice 
Barnard appointed Henry D. Meyers 
of Poughkeepsie, Singleton Mitchell of 
North Hempstead and Ezra W. Conklin 
of Jamaica, a commission to locate the 
line of division between the lots. Even 
these judicially endorsed knights of the 
theodolite failed to agree after making 
a survey and gave the matter up. 

The difficulty was afterwards finally 
overcome by common consent of the 
owners through their lawyers, who 
agreed upon a certain boundary line 
lunning north and south between lots 
1 and 2 of the first division of the 1809 
))artition as a base for determining the 
location of all Rockaway property. 



It would be a difficult and tedious task 
to endeavor to trace the many divisions 
and subdivisions of lots to date, in de- 
tail, but the principal real estate trans- 

actions and many interesting events at- 
tending them during the past two gen- 
erations will be found recorded in the 
following chapter. 


JOHN L. NORTON, who had pur- 
chased nearly all of division two, 
died in 1848, and in 1868 his heirs 
sold to the Wave Crest Land Company 
and to Wm. Caffrey, Samuel L. B. Nor- 
ton and Henry Mott and others the land 
lying in the front portion of Wave Crest 
and the village of Far Rockaway, com- 
prising part of lot No. 11 and the whole 
of lots Nos. 12, 13, 14 and 15. 

The three sons of Samuel L. B. Nor- 
ton — John L. and B. Franklin and 
George C. — afterward sold the plots 
where Edgemere now is. Patrick Glea- 
son also purchased about forty acres 
from the same heirs. The companies 
mapped out their tracts, ran streets 
through the property and put up a num- 
ber of handsome cottages for wealthy 
New York people, and a number of lots 
were sold, with restrictions as to the 
character and size of buildings to be 
erected, none of the buildings to cost 
less than .f3,000. 

Remington Vernam, a New York law- 
yer, took a great liking to the beach 
and having great faith in its future 
from time to time bought from the Cor- 
nell heirs or their successors lots 1 to 
9 of the eastern or second division. 
Mr. Vernam disposed of the greater por- 
tion of lots 1, 2, 3 and 9. Although the 
Norton heirs sold lot No. 9 to Mr. Ver- 
nam, there was a dispute between Ver- 
nam and Norton as to the exact location 
of all the lots between 1 and 9. Nor- 
ton claimed that the boundaries of all 
the lots except his own had been moved 
over 400 feet to the eastward of their 
true lines. 

Mr. Vernam from time to time fenced 
in all the lots of his property west of 
No. 9, and had commenced to fence in 
that lot in the spring of 1894 when 
Franklin Norton appeared on the scene, 
and a dispute arose as to the boundary 

Norton tore down the fence and a 
small building Mr. Vernam had put on 
the premises. Mr. Vernam then ejected 

him from the premises by force and the 
matter went before Justice George W. 
Smith at Far Rockaway, who granted 
a warrant of ejectment against Ver- 
nam. Mr. Vernam appealed to the 
county court, but Justice Garretson sus- 
tained the decision of the lower court, 
without giving an opinion upon the 
question of boundaries and title, upon 
which the Supreme Court must decide. 
An order of affirmance was entered in 
the Queens County clerk's office May 
23rd, 1896. 

In December, 1895, S. Packard of 
Brooklyn, a creditor of Vernam fore- 
closed a mortgage of $30,000 on lot No. 
9 and the lot was sold to Charles S. 
Mackenzie of Brooklyn. The new pur- 
chaser, upon examination, found that 
Mr. Vernam's title was defective and 
Justice Wilmot M. Smith upheld all the 
objections. He released the purchaser 
of his obligations to take the property, 
and ordered the referee, Henry A. Mon- 
fort, to refund all payments made on 
the property and directed the plaintiff 
at the sale, Mr. Packard, to pay to 
Mr. Mackenzie several hundred dollars, 
being cost of search as to title and the 
expense of surveyors. 

Mr. Vernam also bought of the Cor- 
nell heirs lots 14, 15 and 16 of the west- 
ern division and all of lot 1 of the 
marsh except that portion purchased 
by Louis Hammel, where Hammel Sta- 
tion of the Long Island Railroad is now 
located. This marsh lot No. 1 extends 
from Beach channel on the west along 
the northern boundary of all the lots 
of the western division from 3 to 16. 
The Village of Arverne extends over 
lots 15 and 16 of the western division 
and part of the eastern division. 

Dr. Brandreth was the final pur- 
chaser of lot No. 12 of the western di- 
vision, and he sold off a number of 
handsome residences and a number of 
building lots. John Kreuscher, a pur- 
chaser of a large portion of No. 13 of 
the same division, put up a large hotel 



there called Atlantic Park House, which 
immediately became a popular resort 
and a railway stop. 

Many years ago "Aunt" Abby Ryder, 
widow of Nathaniel Ryder, kept a little 
hostelry on the shore of Jamaica Bay. 
Hundreds of city visitors used to go 
over there in row boats and sail boats, 
and landed to get a good clam chowder. 
In 1850 Garrett V. W. Eldert married 
"Aunt" Abby's daughter, and erected a 
hotel on the spot known as Eldert's 
pavilion in Eldert's Grove. This was 
on plot No. 2. The pavilion is still in 
use although much of its spacious 
grounds is now covered by cottages, 
stores, boarding houses and hotels. 

In the year 1857 Michael P. Holland 
of Jamaica, bought the eastern portion 
of lot No. 1, upon which was a large 
hotel known as the Carhart house, and 
made extensive improvements thereon. 
The house was afterward called the 
Holland House. Mr. Holland died in 
1859, before he had a chance to receive 
any of the benefits of his investments, 
but after his death the whole of that 
section of the beach received the benefit 
of a boom, and the widow, Fannie R. 
Holland, sold off a large number of 
building lots, and a village was soon 
built up. Mrs. Holland also sold a site 
for a school house, and donated a site 
for a church. When the line of the New 
York, Woodhaven and Rockaway Beach 
Railroad was extended through the 
beach in 1877, a station was established 
at Holland, on land donated by the 

Lots 9, 10 and 11 in the western di- 
vision were purchased by Remington 

Lot 8 was purchased by Lewis K. 
Dodge, who sold to various parties. Dr. 
Brandreth, Philip Gloss and others. 

Lot 7 and the larger part of lot 6 
were finally purchased by a Mr. Har- 
per and Garret V. W. Eldert, and were 
sold out in small plots for building pur- 

Lots 4 and 5, and a small part of lot 
6, were conveyed to Alfrederick S. 
Hatch, a New York Banker. This sec- 
tion was once known as Oakley Park, 
called after Senator James Oakley. 

Lot 3 was purchased by Louis Ham- 

Lot 2, known as Ryder's tract, was 
purchased by Benjamin Ryder at a fore- 

closure sale years ago for $2,000. This 
whole tract was afterward conveyed by 
him to Garret V. W. Eldert. 

Plot 1 — A Wonderful Creation by the Ocean 

The history of plot 1 of the western 
division is the story of a wonderful 
creation by the sea. Going back to the 
last century in the time of our revolu- 
tionary ancestors, when the British 
forces occupied the present territory of 
Brooklyn, after the Battle of Long 
Island, they set to work a number of 
their unemployed engineers and survey- 
ors at making a complete map of the 
west end of Long Island. From that 
map it is learned that the old gut, or 
inlet to Jamaica Bay, was more than 
half a mile east of the point of the inlet 
as it existed at the time of the 1809 par- 
tition suit and the ocean tides flowed 
into Jamaica Bay through a broad deep 
and unobstructed channel. The tides 
and currents and the heavy seas first 
formed the long bar; then the heavy 
southeasterly storms and pounding seas 
year after year forced the shifting 
sands up into ridges and hillocks, in 
some instances from 25 to 30 feet above 
the water. In older sections of the 
beach where the cedars had grown, the 
cedars would hold the sand until finally 
the hillocks covered the trees complete- 
ly and when, in after years, the sand 
was shifted by a powerful gale from 
another direction these hills would be 
blown almost entirely away and in these 
places the dead cedars, with their 
gaunt forms naked to the blasts, could 
be seen scattered over the beach. These 
beaches were added to continually and 
stretches of land, which, in 1809, were 
only 200 feet in width from bay to ocean 
are now half a mile across. At the 
time of the Partition Suit the Point or 
westerly end of the peninsula was about 
where Eighth avenue, Rockaway Park, 
now is. 

In a westerly direction the beach has 
extended year by year until to-day it 
has reached a point south of Coney 
Island and several miles west of the 
old inlet. 

The Old Block House 

In 1809, plot No. 1, which extended 
from the old gut to the new inlet, com- 
prised about 200 acres and was con- 



veyed by Richard Cornell to Nathan- 
iel Ryder for $200 and the marsh to the 
north went with it. It was upon this 
plot that the old United States block 
house was built, and the boundary of 
the United States land seems to have 
been a definite boundary and a base 
line from which to compute the division 
between lots 1 and 2. 

In 1814 Nathaniel Ryder conveyed to 
the United States for the sum of $100 
a tract of land of about forty or fifty 
acres, comprising the westerly point of 
the beach, for the purpose of building 
a block house or wooden fort thereon. 
This land was afterwards purchased 
by the State of New York, and, acting 
under the authority of Governor Daniel 
Thompkins, the state commissioners 
paid $100 for the land and expended 
"$30 for carriage hire, etc., first deed re- 
lease mortgage, searching records, 
acknowledgment, etc." The bill of 
Adam and Noah Brown for building the 
block house was $2,381.65; Benjamin 
Cornell was paid ilO 15s. Id. (about 
fifty-four dollars), "for transportation 
by boat and carting the gun over the 
beach." The commissioners reported 
that a strong block house had been built 
at the entrance to the bay and a single 
twenty-four pound-gun mounted upon 
it, and that this block house had been 
taken charge of by an adequate force 
of United States troops. 

It was stated in the report that this 
inlet was "near the Brooklyn Navy 
Y^ard, that an enemy could land from 
.^■mall boats in Jamaica Bay and that it 
was highly important that this section, 
which was also a refuge for coasting 
vessels, be protected." 

The following is a list of names borne 
on the muster roll of a company of New 
York State Sea Fencibles, under the 
command of Captain .Josiah Ingersoll, 
from December 29th, 1814, to March 1, 
1815, in the service of the United 
States, stationed at the block house 
which was then named "Decatur." 

Josiah Ingersoll, captain; Isaac 
Waite, lieutenant; Daniel Leger, gun- 
ner; George Bass, great gunner; John 
Arthur, John Brainer, Matthew Craig, 
Silas Coleman, Henry Clason, William 
Dixon, John Francis, John Finnegan, 
John Gould, Joseph Gale, Joshua B. 
Hall, Jesse Lewis, Charles Loundes, 
Adoniah Mansfield, Patrick McGuire, 

John McGowan, William Phillips, Peter 
Patterson, Edward Roach, John Smith, 
Augustus Williams, John Williams, 
Joseph Ward, and David Wilson, all sea- 
men; Abraham Fowler, waiter to cap- 
tain, and John Rosier, waiter to lieu- 
tenant; Hugh Sweener, surgeon's mate, 
and Patrick Leaden, doctor's waiter. 
Total, 32. 

The old block house was pulled down 
in 1818. 

In 1866 the federal government gave 
Aaron A. DeGrauw the right to use and 
to occupy this property for $1 per year, 
payable the first day of May in each 
year until it should be wanted by the 
government, when the lessee was to va- 
cate the premises and remove all build- 
ings at his own cost and expense when 
requested to do so by the government. 
The franchise was signed by George S. 
Boutwell, Secretary of the Treasury, 
and William W. Belknap, secretary of 
war. The title to the property, however, 
was in the State of New York, who paid 
$100 for the same. This grant by the 
Federal Government has been the cause 
of much confusion as to the ownership 
of the land. 

An act was passed by the State Legis- 
lature, which was signed by the Gover- 
nor June 13, 1887, releasing to John Y. 
Attrill upon the payment to the State 
by Attrill of $20,000 and all expenses 
incurred by the Controller and Attorney 
General in their investigations as to the 
title of the State and as to its claims 
upon these lands. The expense of these 
proceedings amounted to $10,000 and 
Mr. Attrill was compelled to pay to the 
state $30,000 to secure the piece of land 
which the State obtained in 1812 for 
$100. As this land was situated at the 
point of the beach and as all subsequent 
accretions to the westward were held to 
belong to the owner of this tract the 
bargain was considered a good one for 

When Nathaniel Ryder purchased of 
Cornell lot No. 1 he gave the latter 
a mortgage of $300 and it is presumed 
that Cornell thought that he was well 
rid of this tract that today gives titles 
to the whole western portion of the 
beach, worth millions of dollars. 

He assigned the mortgage to David T. 
Jennings, who, as the interest had not 
been paid, foreclosed the claim in 1830 
and the tract was bid in by Rothery Ry- 
der and Henry Hewlett for $181. 



Robert Mott, who obtained a judgment 
against Rothery Ryder, sold the latter's 
interest in the plot under an execution 
in 1839, and it was purchased by Henry 
Hewlett, who also purchased other 
large portions of lot No. 1, which had 
been parted with and he thus became 
the sole owner of all of this lot, except 
the Stringham tract. In 1853 Nellie 
Lewis and Abraham Hewlett sold a part 
of their father's (Henry Hewlett's) 
claim to Samuel J. Soper and Samuel J. 
Soper's interest was afterwards con- 
veyed through grantees to Michael P. 

Soper, on August 20, 1853, conveyed 
the property to John Carhart and James 
H. Pullis, and they conveyed to William 
M. Pullis. In 1854 Carhart and Pullis 
sold the larger portion of their pur- 
chase to Schenck W. Furman, and Fur- 
man sold it to John Carhart. The latter 
sold two-thirds of the whole tract, in- 
cluding the western portion, to Charles 
G. Covert. In 1853 Covert conveyed to 
lohn M. Johnson and James S. Remsen 
both parcels of land bounded on the 
west by the United States land, on the 
east by land of Joseph Stringham, and 
the other tract east of Stringham. Lewis 
and Abram Hewlett also sold to Rem- 
sen in 1855 the western portion of the 
tract, which was left to them by their 
father, containing about three hundred 
acres, for the sum of $485.50. 

In February, 1858, James S. Remsen 
bought out Johnson's undivided half in- 
terest or share for $20,000, and in 1863 
Remsen conveyed all the tract east of 
the United States tract, excepting a 
strip 1,150 feet in width stretching 
across the beach and known as Seaside 
Park, to Dr. Richard H. Thompson, who 
was at that time health officer of New 
York City. The main consideration 
named was a stipulation on the part of 
Dr. Thompson to build a railroad from 
East New York to Canarsie, and to 
maintain a steam ferry route between 
Canarsie and the foot of First street, 
Seaside landing. In addition to this he 
was to pay the sum of $3,000. The rail- 
road was built to Canarsie and an old 
stern wheeler was purchased in Phila- 
delphia for the ferry route. Sometimes 
the steamboat landed at the pier at the 
foot of First street and sometimes on 
the beach, if the tide or wind were too 
strong to make the other landing. Dr. 
Thompson also purchased other small 

plots, one from William Caffrey, known 
as the Stringham tract, and others 
lying to the eastward of the piece 
named. He gave back mortgages in 
part payment for the tracts purchased. 
The vendors reserved the cedar trees, 
which were then considered the most 
valuable, if not the only valuable, part 
of the property. The Stringham tract, 
consisting of about sixty acres, had 
been acquired by William Caffrey, who 
gave about one acre of his land in the 
Bayswater section of Far Rockaway to 
Joseph Stringham in exchange. String- 
ham, called "the hermit," was a fisher- 
man, and needed the acre of upland to 
reach his beach fronting Jamaica Bay, 
and he evidently thought his property 
at Rockaway Beach of very little value. 

Dr. Thompson died suddenly in No- 
vember, 1864, leaving a will by which 
he gave all this property, and property 
purchased in Rockaway Park, to his 
daughters, Mrs. Frederick A. Ward of 
Brooklyn and Mrs. William P. Judson 
of Oswego, and named DeWitt C. Little- 
john, then prominent in political life as 
speaker of the Assembly of the State of 
New York, as his executor and trustee 
and guardian of his children. 

Soon after Dr. Thompson died, Little- 
john, who said he deemed it unwise to 
pay $3,000 out of the funds of the estate 
to complete the purchase from Remsen, 
over and above the ferry agreement, 
conveyed this very valuable property to 
a dummy of his, named Francis B. 
Dane, who later conveyed it to the wife 
of Littlejohn. The title remained in 
Mrs. Littlejohn's possession undis- 
turbed for many years, and after her 
death in 1872 her children conveyed the 
present Rockaway Park to H. Y. Attrill, 
who with his associates formed a cor- 
poration and built the great hotel, 
which proved a financial failure. Little- 
john also, as administrator of his wife, 
sold other portions of the beach and 
received large rentals therefrom. In 
1888 the heirs of Dr. Thompson, Mrs. 
Ward and Mrs. Judson, discovered that, 
by fraudulent transfers of the guardian 
and trustee, they had been despoiled 
of the property, and in an action 
brought by them against DeWitt C. .Lit- 
tlejohn and his children, recovered 
judgment, establishing their claim and 
title to the entire property bought by 
Dr. Thompson in 1862 from Remsen. 
All of the unimproved portions of the 



beach lying near Holland and Seaside 
and also the property west of Seaside 
known as Rockaway Park, by this judg- 
ment passed to iMrs. Ward and Mrs. 

Littlejohn, in an action brought while 
the title was vested in his wife against 
Henry Y. Attrill, claimed that the en- 
tire western portion of the beach, ruTi- 
ning to the westerly boundary of Rock- 
away Point to Barren Island inlet, be- 
longed to his wife by accretion, for the 
reason that there was an old inlet which 
divided the beach for many years and in 
the course of time had been filled in. 
Judge Gilbert decided that there was 
no merit in the claim, and his decision 
was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. 

In 1879 the heirs of Alida M. Little- 
john conveyed 140 acres to Henry Y. 
Attrill. This comprised the entire west- 
ern portion of plot No. 1 as far west as 
the site of the old United States foit, 
and was a tract west of the Dr. Thomp- 
son tract, which Littlejohn had con- 
veyed to his wife, Alida M. Littlejohn, 
through Dane. The 140-acre tract was 
known as Rockaway Beach Park, and 
upon it a company composed of At- 
trill and Smith (the latter president 
of the Cleveland, Columbus and In- 
diana Central Railroad, Ohio) and 
others associated with them built 
the mammoth and handsome Rockaway 
Beach Hotel, a structure 1,200 feet 
long, costing over a million and a quar- 
ter dollars and which was finished July 
11th, 1879. On April 1st, 1880, the tract 
was conveyed by Attrill to the Rock- 
away Beach Improvement Company. 

This hotel proved to be a financial 
failure and the thousands of workmen 
who had received nothing but a lot of 
receiver's certificates in pay for their 
labor, at one time threatened to burn it 
down. It was with the utmost difficulty 
they were satisfied. Drexel and J. Pier- 
pont Morgan bought up a large number 
of the receiver's certificates and paid 
off the men. 

Charles Raht, as executor of Julius 
C. Raht, who held a mortgage of $76,000 
on the tract, assigned to him by Little- 
john, foreclosed his claim and the prop- 
erty was struck off at a public sale on 
February 3, 1883, to Francis C. Barlow 
for $175,000. Mr. Barlow sold the prop- 
erty to J. Pierpont Morgan. The hotel 
building was sold by Mr. Morgan at 

public auction and was bought by 
Charles H. Southard, dealer in second- 
hand materials, for $30,000. It was 
torn down, much of it sold to local men 
and used by them in constructing houses 
and hotels. It has often been said that 
nearly all the hotels built in the place 
at that time were built of lumber out 
of the big hotel. The land was after- 
wards conveyed to the Rockaway Beach 
Improvement Company. The entire 
tract was laid out in streets and sewered 
and a large number of houses erected. 

Rothery Ryder died in 1838 and his 
wife Abby died in 1863. She left as 
heirs Matilda, wife of Garret V. W. 
Eldert; Amelia, wife of James V. 
Brown, and four sons, Charles, Henry, 
Benjamin and Uriah. Matilda died in 
1872. These heirs of Rothery Ryder and 
the other heirs of Nathaniel Ryder 
(father of Rothery) claimed all the 
western portion of the beach west of 
Rockaway Park, which had been added 
to the tract by the ocean while their 
father held the 200 acres between the 
year 1809, when he purchased of the 
Cornell heirs, and 1830, when Jennings 
foreclosed his mortgage. This new 
land had by 1872 grown to be 610 acres 
and was not covered by the Jennings 
mortgage. A great deal of new land 
had been made to the south of the New 
York State property, which tract, ac- 
cording to the area described in the 
original purchase, only occupied the 
northern part of the beach, while the 
greater portion was to the south of the 
tract, and from this the growth of the 
beach westward was all claimed by the 
heirs of Nathaniel Ryder. 

Shortly after the death of Matilda 
Eldert, George Durland of Jamaica 
bought out a number of the smaller 
holdings of Nathaniel Ryder heirs and 
began a partition suit against the other 
heirs. Edward M. Shepard of Brooklyn 
was appointed a referee to sell, and at a 
sale held on October 26th, 1874, the 
premises were conveyed to Alonzo B. 
Wright. Alonzo B. Wright conveyed to 
Benjamin Smith on August 15, 1879, 
the whole tract of 610 acres (except 
two small tracts sold to Aaron A. De- 
Grauw, Jr., and a site for a United 
States life saving station) for $200,000. 
Smith executed back to Colonel Aarcn 
A. DeGrauw, who was Wright's finan- 
cial backer, a purchase money mortgage 
for $170,000. 



Benjamin Smith, on tlie 25th day of 
Vugust, 1879, conveyed the tract to 
lenry Y. Attrill for $200,000, who ex- 
icuted a purchase money mortgage for 
;180,000 to Colonel Aaron A. DeGrauw. 

DeWitt C. Littlejohn, as executor of 
lis wife, as heretofore noted, claimed 
he title of this tract as being a portion 
if the Dr. Thompson purchase by execu- 
ion. The Court of Appeals decided 
gainst him. While the case was pend- 
ng he built two or three shanties on 
he beach and put armed men in them 

maintain possession of the premises. 
)n the 30th of January, 1880, a steamer 
onveyed 200 men hired by Attrill, 
>mith, Wright and other defendants 
ver the beach, where they made an at- 
ack on the Littlejohn guards and 
outed them without a battle. They 
ore down the buildings and fences and 
laintained a guard over the premises. 
Vlfrederick S. Hatch, a banker, filed 
udgments of $15,142 and of $164,835.32 
n the Queens County Clerk's office at 
amaica on December 21, 1885, against 
Lttrill. Collis P. Huntington, president 
f the Central Pacific Railroad, filed a 
udgment of $99,193.01 against Attrill 
n April 22, 1886, and another of $100,- 
40.03 on June 15, 1886. 

On April 25, 1890, Alfrederick S. 
latch had the property sold by Sheriff 
latthew Goldner under an execution to 
atisfy his judgment of $164,835.52. It 
,'as sold in 1891 to William Parkin for 
208,000. Parkin afterwards trans- 
erred the property to Isaac E. Gates of 
'ast Orange, N. J., as trustee for the 
reditors of Fisk and Hatch. 

Aaron A. DeGrauw, the financial 
acker of Wright, who purchased this 
ection of the beach at partition sale, 
hen attempted to foreclose his mort- 
age of $180,000 against the property. 
L-ttrill, as a citizen of Baltimore, Md., 
btained an order allowing him to have 
tie case removed to the United States 

In 1897 Gates executed a partition 
eed, whereby he conveyed his interest 

1 the property to Collis P. Huntington. 
.t this time several actions involving 
tie questions were before the United 
tales District Court, some of them 
aving been there for several yeai's. 
hese cases included Wright versus 
hipps; Attrill versus Wright; De- 
Irauw versus Attrill; Attrill versus 
>eGrauw, and Gates versus DeGrauw. 

On April 7, 1900, Francis H. Wil- 
son, who had been appointed Master in 
Chancery to straighten the chain of 
title and decide on the proper owner or 
owners, ordered the entire property to 
be sold by a referee and Edward P. 
Hatch became the purchaser of the land 
as far westward as and including 
Neponsit. Hatch conveyed the property 
he purchased to the West Rockaway 
Land Company on June 13, 1903, and 
this company still owns a considerable 
portion of that section, now known as 
Belle Harbor, which it laid out, de- 
veloped and sold in plots. 

The section known now as Neponsit 
was conveyed to the Neponsit Realty 
Company by the West Rockaway Land 
Company, in December, 1908, and the 
Neponsit Company has mapped it out, 
sold plots, built houses and made of it 
the well-populated well-restricted and 
desirable ocean front development for 
which the name Neponsit has already 
become well and widelj' known. A section 
of Neponsit was purchased by New York 
City from the West Rockaway Land 
Company a few years ago, at the price 
of about one and a quarter million dol- 
lars. The site was intended for a pub- 
lic park at the seashore, and is called 
the Jacob Riis Park. It remains unde- 
veloped as a park up to the present time. 
A large city hospital for tubercular 
patients has been erected on a portion 
of the land. 

The ownership of the end of the pen- 
insula known as Rockaway Point, ex- 
tending from Neponsit to the western 
extremity, was confirmed in Collis P. 
Huntington under the partition deed 
given by Gates in 1897. Huntington 
died in 1900 and the estate was inherited 
by his widow Arabella, who, in Febru- 
ary, 1901, sold Rockaway Point to An- 
drew K. Van Deventer, the present 

Rockaway Point is the site of a branch 
of the Coast Guard and Life Saving 
Station, and adjoining Neponsit in 1916 
a fine modern fort known as Fort Til- 
den, mounted with a battery of guns 
commanding New York Harbor and ap- 
proaches, was hurriedly constructed. 

A company of United States soldiers 
is always stationed there. 

Many persons spend the entire sum- 
mer at Rockaway Point (which is some- 
times called Roxbury) and tents and 
shacks are there in large numbers. 




THE part played by the residents of 
the Rockaways during the Revolu- 
tionary War, is identical with that 
of the majority of the inhabitants of 
Jamaica and Hempstead, most of whom 
were Tories and remained royalist. 
However, a goodly number of residents 
voted for the first American Congress 
and sided with the "Americans," which 
term came into existence then. Benja- 
min Cornell of Far Rockaway, was a 
lieutenant in the American Arm5% and 
on June 23rd, 1787, after the war, was 
commissioned in the New York State 
Militia by Governor George Clinton. 
While Jamaica was headquarters for the 
military regulars, patrols were estab- 
lished to and in Rockaway, where sen- 
tries were stationed. The armed marine 
force found plenty of service in search- 
ing for and capturing their enemy, and 
numerous minor encounters took place 
on the peninsula. 

On the passage of the Bill in the Eng- 
lish Parliament shutting up the port 
of Boston on account of throwing of the 
tea overboard, some persons in Jamaica 
assembled at the Inn of Increase Car- 
penter, a mile east of the village, and, 
after an interchange of opinions re- 
quested Othniel Smith the constable, to 
warn the freeholders to a meeting at 
the Court House, for the purpose of 
considering the state of public affairs. 

A number of the inhabitants met on 
December 6th, 1774, and constituted the 
local American party. The following 
resolutions were passed and recorded: 

1. To maintain the just dependence 
of the Colonies upon the crown of 
Great Britain and to render true 
allegiance to King George the 
the Third. 

2. That it is our right to be taxed 
only by our own consent, and the 
taxes imposed on us by Parliament 
are an infringement of our rights. 

3. We glory to have been born sub- 
ject to the crown and excellent 
constitution of Great Britain; we 
are one people with our mother 
country, and lament the late un- 
happy disputes. 

5. We sympathize with our brethren 
of Boston under their sufl'erings. 

6. We approve the measures of the 
late General Congress of Philadel- 

7. We appoint for our committee of 
correspondence and observation 
Rev. Abraham Ketaltas, Waters, 
Smith, Capt. Ephraim Bailis, Capt. 
Joseph French, William Ludlum, 
Capt. Richard Betts, Dr. John 
Innes, Joseph Robinson, Elias 

This meeting would have been held 
much sooner but for the refusal of 
Captain Benjamin Whitehead, super- 
visor, to show the townspeople the let- 
ter he had received from the Whig com- 
mittee of New York. 

Abraham Keteltas, though a clergy- 
man, said that sooner than pay the 
duty on tea as required by Parliament 
he would shoulder his musket and fight. 

The Jamaica committee met again 
January 19th, 1775, and after thanking 
the New York delegates to the General 
Congress for their important services, 
said: "We joyfully anticipate the 
pleasure of seeing your names enrolled 
in the annals of America and trans- 
mitted to the latest generations, as the 
friends and deliverers of your country 
and having your praises resounded from 
one side of this continent to the other." 

This early anticipation has since been 
wonderfully realized. 

Only eight days after the committee 
had thus endorsed the action of their 
delegates, 136 inhabitants of Jamaica 
signed a protest stating "that a few 
people of the town had taken on them- 
selves the name of a committee. We 
never gave our consent thereto, as we 
disapprove of all unlawful meetings 
We resolve to continue faithful sub- 
jects to his Majesty George the Third, 
our most gracious king." 

On March 31st following, being the 
day appointed for the taking the sense 
of the freeholders of Jamaica on the ex- 
pediency of choosing a deputy to the 
Provincial Congress at New York, a poll 
was opened at the court house. The 


L^sult was that the town inMnaiiiod roy- ai-c (Iclt'rmiiicd no! to choosi' any (k'pu- 

list and i-efiisod by a ma.j<irity of uiiio tics, iicir (■(uisciit to it, liiit (hi soh'ttiiily 

J send a deputy. lieai- oiii- tcsl ini(in.\' against it. 

At Hempstead, April 4th, 1775, the in- "Sixth, That we are utterly adverse 

abitants assembled and passed the ('(d- to all mobs, i-iots and illegal pr-oeeed- 

iwiuK resolutions in which they I'm- in^^s, b,\' whieh the lives, peace and proii- 

hatieally (lecdared their intention of re- erty of our fellow subjects are endan- 

lainiuK loyal to the liritish Cfown: jvered; and that we will to the utmoHt 

First, that, as we have already borne oC our power suppoi't our le^iil nuiKiH- 

[•ue and raithl'ul allegiance to His (rates in suppr-essirur all riots and pre- 

hijesty, King- tieorge the Third, oui' servinj^- ( ln' peace of our Liege sever- 

racious and lawful sovereign, so we eign." 

re firmly resolved to continue in the N<itwitlistanding these i-esolutions, at 

iime line of duty to him and his law- ;i meeting of freehcdders of the county, 

Lil successor. held at Jamaica, May 22n(l, 1.775, 

"Second, That we esteem our religious Thomas lli(d<s and (aptaiii Uichard 

nd civil liberties above any other bless- Thorne were idected In i-epresont 

igs, and those only that can be secured Hempstead l)iil, on June lidth, 'I'honuis 

) us by our present constitution; we Hicks, of Little Nccl<, decliru'd t.aking 

nail inviolably adhere to it, since de- his seat, "bei'ause h(^ was informed by 

iating from it and introducing innova- sevei-al leading men that the people of 

ons would have a direct tendency (o Hempstead set'med much inidiru'd to re- 

Libvert it, from which the most ruinous main peaceable and (piiet." 

inse(|uences might .justly be a])pre- An address was presented to (Jovermir 

ended. (^ddeii at Jamaica on May ISth, 1775, 

"Third, That it is our ardent desii-(Mo re((uesting him to intercede with (len- 

ave the present unnatural contest be- oral (lage and wiHi the King; to stop 

f/een the parent state and her colonies tlu'ir violent measures. His reply was 

micably and speedily accommodated (rn nnsatisfaid.ory though given with tears, 

rinciples of constitutional liberty; ami On Septeirdier 2n(l, 1775, ("ongr(\ss 

lat the union of the colonies with the grantcMl Joseph Uobinson leave to re- 

arent state may su])sist till time shall ccdve 100 pounds of guni)owd(M- for (he 

e no more. use of Hie J.-imaica militia, on his i)ay- 

"P\)urth, 4'hat as the worthy metii- ing cash for it. 

ers of our General Assembly who are Hy a test jiaper issued by tlie (leneral 

ur only legal and eonstitutional rep- Association, the signers pledg:ed them- 

2sentatives. . . . have petitioned selves to stand liy each other in th(^ 

is most gracious Majesty, sent a, mi^- gri'at struggh^ for their rights aTid to 

lorial to the House of Lords and a n:- su|)|iort the Congress. On September 

lonstrancc to the House of (!onnnons. Kith, 1775, 0(mgress having ihhhI id' 

e are determined to wait patiently the arms for the soldiers in the constitu- 

isue of those measures, and avoid tiona! service, sent, troops to Jamaica 

verything that might frustrate; thcjse t,o impress tlwm from thosi^ who rid'used 

Ludable endeavors. to sign 1 l)i> ( o'lieral Associ.-d.ion. Abi-a- 

"l^^ifth, That as choosing deputies to ham Skinner, of Jamai<-a, re|)o|-t,ed to 

)rm a provincial ('ongress or Ooiiven- Congress 1h;d. but, few arms had been 

on must have this tendency, be highly collected for want of .a liatalli(m of 

isrespectful to our legal represenla- s<ildiers to intimidate; the royalists. He 

ves, and also be attended in all proba- said, "The fieople conceal all their arms 

ility, with the most pernicious ed'ctcts of any value, many say they know notJi- 

in other instances, as is now actually ing; about Congress and don't care for 

le case in some provinces such as IJu'ir orders and they will blow out an\' 

lutting-up courts <if justice^ hwying man's brains .attempts to fake thoir 

oney on the subjects to enlist nnni for .-irms." 

le purpose of fighting- against our sov- Com[)anies were detailed to visit 

-eign, diffusing the spirit of sedition Hempstead. Considerable <liHiculty was 

nong the people, destroying the au~ encoiiid,('red, but, in .January, 

lority of constitutional assembli(!S and 177(), W(; find th(! following: "The bat- 

;herwise introducing many heavy and talion hd't ('olomd Heard at Hempstead 

ppr(;ssive gri(;vances), w(; th(;r(d"or(; Last Wednesday with CM) or 700 militia 



where great numbers of Tories were 
every hour coining in and delivering up 
their arms." Again, "Colonel Heard 
crossed Hurl (Hell) Gate ferry and pro- 
ceeded through Newton (Newtown), to 
Jamaica, at Bett's tavern, and left on a 
Sunday for Hempstead. There was 
great talk of opposition in Hempstead, 
but it was at last concluded to submit. 
His quarters were at Nathaniel Sam- 

On December 13th, 1775, as some dis- 
affected persons in Queens County had 
been supplied with arms from the Brit- 
ish ship of war "Asia," and were ar- 
ranging themselves to oppose the meas- 
ures taken by the united colonies for de- 
fending their just rights, it was ordered 
that Captain Benjamin Whitehead, Dr. 
Charles Arden, Captain Joseph French 
and Captain Johannes Polhemus, all of 
Jamaica, appear before the Congress 
on the 19th inst., to give satisfaction 
in the premises and that they be pro- 
tected from insult, coming and return- 

The following associated themselves 
as "minute men" for the defense of 
American liberty, and engaged to be 
obedient to the Congress : — John Skid- 
more, captain ; Jacob Wright, first lieu- 
tenant; Nicholas Everest, second lieu- 
tenant; Ephriam Marston, ensign; pri- 
vates, Cornelius and Derick Amberman ; 
Isaac, Nehemiah, Daniel, and John 
Bayles; John Bremner, Richard and 
Robert Betts, William Cebra, Peter 
Canile, Benjamin and Nemiah Everet; 
Samuel, Joseph, Thomas and Daniel 
Higbie; James Hinchman, Hendrich, 
Aaron and Abraham Henderson ; John 
Innis, William Nehemiah and Nathaniel 
Ludlum; David and Waters Lambert- 
son; Andrew Mills, Andrew Oakley, 
Urias and Stephen Rider; Hope, Rich- 
ard and Nathaniel Rhodes; Joseph Rob- 
inson; Richard, Nathaniel, Walter, 
John, Obadiah, Simeon, Sylvester, 
Nicholas and Benjamin Smith ; Daniel 
Skidmore, John and William Stin ; 
William and Benjamin Thurston; 
Thomas Wiggins, and Jesse Wilson. 

On March 27th. 1776, a military com- 
pany of 40 men associated themselves 
as Defenders of Liberty. The officers 
were: Ephriam Bayles; captain; In- 
crease Carpenter, first lieutenant; Abra- 
ham Van Osdell, second lieutenant; 
Othniel Smith, ensign. 

On April 26th, following all friends 

of American Liberty in Jamaica were 
entreated by Elias Bayles, chairman of 
the committee, to aid the committee. 
Announcement was made that should 
any officers in the service of Congress 
meet with insults in the discharge of 
their duties the offenders were ordered 
to be treated as enemies to their coun- 

It being ordered on May 17th, 1776, 
that the county committee form and 
regulate the militia without delay, we 
find the following regarding Hemp- 
stead: South Hemppstead: — Foster 
Meadow Company, 98 men; officers, 
none. Far Rockaway Company, 90 men, 
Peter Smith, captain; Benjamin Cor- 
nell, lieutenant. South Hempstead 
Company, 110 men; officers, none. 

The total number in North and South 
Hempstead and Oyster Bay was 1,028 
men. The following were the higher 
officers: Colonel, John Sands: lieuten- 
ant-colonel, Benjamin Berdsall; majors, 
Richard Thorne and John Henderson. 

During the month of July, 1776, pre- 
cautions were taken for saving the cat- 
tle and crops from the British, should 
they attempt to land on the island. 
Colonel Birdsall, with a command of 
recruits, was sent to Far Rockaway, 
where sentinels were placed in the most 
advantageous positions for observiiig 
the approach of the enemy. In August, 
Captain P. Nostrand was also stationed 
at Far Rockaway with forty-six men to 
guard the coast. There was a guard 
at David Mott's and at Hog Island Inlet 
was a guard boat. 

According to one account, "Nelly 
Cornell, looking out of an upper win- 
dow of a house, called to the American 
officer and told him she saw trees ris- 
ing from the ocean." He looked, called 
another officer and said, "That's the 
British fleet. Down with the tents and 
let's be off to the ferry." Wagons were 
then impressed to convey the baggage 
and all the cattle were driven off. 

August 25th, Congress resolved that 
all horses and horned cattle and sheep 
south of the ridge of hills in Queens 
county be removed to Hempstead 
plains; that the inhabitants remove all 
grain then in barns or barracks to a 
distance from buildings, that it might 
be burnt, if necessary to prevent its 
falling into the hands of the enemy. A 
few days later the regiments were or- 
dered by General Washington to with- 



draw from Long Island. Afterward a 
large portion of the militia returned to 
Long Island and took British protec- 
tion, to save their property and pro- 
tect their families. 

When the American army abandoned 
Long Island to the British after the 
battle of Long Island on August 27th, 
1776, the more active Whigs fled. Rev. 
Messrs. Ketaltas and Froeligh crossed 
to the mainland as did John I. Skid- 
more, Increase Carpenter, John Robin- 
son, Nehemiah Carpenter, sen. and 
others. The property of those who fled 
was seized by the British authorities. 
Most of the Whigs stayed home with 
their families and took their chance. 
The more obnoxious were arrested and 
taken to the British Camp in Kings 
County. Among these were Elias 
Bayles, an aged and blind man, an 
slder in the Presbyterian Church; 
David Lamberson, Abraham Ditmars, 
Robert Hinchman, John Thurston, and 

The more quiet Whigs were not dis- 
;urbed. They took the oath of alle- 
>;iance to the crown, signed a paper of 
submission, prayed to be restored to 
;he royal favor and wore a red ribbon 
)n their hats. 

The village of Hempstead was se- 
ected by the British as one of their out- 
)osts, "as convenient quarters for their 
ight horse, who would be near New 
fork City in case of attack and could 
ilso make excursions to gather forage, 
itc, for the city and scour the country 
vhen the rebels landed from the main." 
louses were patrolled and soldiers 
vere to be found for many miles around 
lempstead and sentry boxes were scat- 
ered all about what is now Hempstead 
'illage. The Presbyterian Church was 
ised as a barracks for soldiers and later 
he floors were taken out and the build- 
ng was used as a riding school for 
Irilling horses. The grave-stones were 
Lsed for fire backs, hearths and oven 
lottoms. On the outside of the church 
vere rings, to which soldiers were sus- 
pended by one hand and with one foot 
esting on a sharp stake set in the 
■round, the remaining hand and foot 
leing tied together. These points un- 
!er foot were occasionelly of iron and 
'V writhing of the sufi'erer would some- 
imes pierce through the foot. The 
ulprit was then sent to the hospital 
nd would often be lame for weeks. 

This was the punishment of the light 
horse. The Hessians (German troops 
hired by King George the Third) ran 
the gauntlet. An apple tree east of the 
burying ground was used as a whipping 
post. In this connection it is interest- 
ing to note that Joseph Prue was 
chosen "Town Whipper" in April, 1772. 
Along the brook east of Hempstead 
village there were huts for the soldiers, 
built of sods. Boards were very scarce, 
and the Presbyterian Church at Foster's 
meadow and the Presbyterian Church 
at Islip were taken down and conveyed 
to Hempstead, where the lumber was 
used in making barracks and stables. 
From 1778 until peace was declared 
the light horse made Hempstead their 
headquarters during the winter and 
occasionally they recruited in the sum- 
mer, allowing their horses to wander 
into the fields of grain and clover fields, 
which in many cases were entirely de- 
stroyed. A fixed price was generally 
allowed for such damage, which was 
paid in New York. These horsemen, 
called the "Queen's Own" it is said, 
were well disciplined and finely 

From 1778 the militia was called out 
several times to capture "Americans" 
or "rebels," and made excursions to the 
island in search of cattle and plunder. 
We copy a contemporaneous account of 
one of these raids which occurred off 
the beach at Far Rockaway: "Last Sun- 
day (about July 1st, 1779) two rebel 
whale boats, on which were seventeen 
men, made their appearance at Hog 
Island, near Rockaway. The militia 
were soon alarmed and a party was 
despatched in two boats while the 
others marched along shore and se- 
creted themselves among the brush at 
the entrance of and along the creek at 
which they entered. The rebels had 
scarcely landed when they observed the 
two pursuing boats coming into the 
inlet. They endeavored to escape, but 
finding they were surrounded and fired 
upon from all quarters, they sur- 
rendered. Some time after, three others 
of the same gentry came rowing along 
shore and, observing their own two 
boats made into the inlet and fell into 
the hands of the militia. These boats 
were fitted out at Saybrook, Conn., with 
a brass two-pounder in the bow of each, 
and had a commission from Governor 



Trumbull to plunder the inhabitants of 
Long Island. The prisoners, forty in 
number, were brought to town yester- 

In July, 1780, near Hog Island, Rock- 
away, the American sloop "Revenue," 
privateer, of New London, W. Jagger, 
commander, fitted out by Joseph Wool- 
ridge, carrying twelve guns and fifty- 
two men, was driven ashore by the 
British ship "Galatea." The vessel 
bilged, the men jumped overboard and 
swam ashore with their arms, and were 
captured by the militia stationed at Far 
Rockaway. Several other captures were 
made of Americans who believed Long 
Island and its people were not loyal to 
the crown. 

Rockaway and Lawrence Beach resi- 
dents would sometimes take a spyglass 
and climb to the roofs of their houses, 
and, if they saw any whale boats in the 
bay, they would remove their valuables 
to a nearby hiding-place, leaving only 
a few articles in their houses. When 
the robbers landed they would ransack 
the houses, curse the residents for their 
poverty and depart. Houses and farms 
were often nearly emptied of an after- 
noon by their owners, and the goods re- 
placed next morning, but if the owners 
were once caught they were likely to 
be tortured till the goods were forth- 
coming. The alarm was spread by guns 
or horn blowing. 

Though the farmers and laboring 
classes had to live frugally and on 
homely fare during the war it was dif- 
ferent with the British officers. They 
spent their money freely and loved good 
eating and drinking. A little boy once 
got a dollar for a quart of strawberries. 
A fat turkey would fetch a guinea 
(twenty-one shillings) and eggs six 
cents each. Here is a note from a 
British officer to a farmer: "Sir: If 
you can get me a good quarter of veal, 
or a good pig, or half a dozen good 
chickens, pray do so, for I can't live on 
salt meat every day, and you'll oblige, 
yours, Cort Van Home." 

The standing toast at an officer's 
table was "a long and moderate war." 
The out-door amusements were fox 
hunting, shooting grouse and other 
game, horse racing, cricket matches, 
hurling matches, billiards, cards, etc. 
They indulged in music also, for we 
read of pianos, harpsicords, organs, etc., 
besides military bands. 

Some of the officers had their ladies 
with them, others married American 
girls. Some of the soldiers brought 
their wives with them from the old 
country, especially the Hessians 
(Dutch) and Scotch. Their children 
were baptized in the Presbyterian 

Hog Island was the residence of 
Colonel Richard Hewlett during the 
war. He was an English officer, and 
had a small regiment of English sol- 
diers at his residence and under his 
command. The only monument now ex- 
isting of their doings is the remains of 
a ditch and an embankment thrown up 
by the soldiers around a piece of wood- 
land then owned by him. 

Whitehead Cornell of Rockaway sup- 
plied meat to the British fleet during 
the Revolutionary war, and in 1784 his 
son William went to England to collect 
payment of his father's bill against the 
British government. 

An interesting document, probably 
the first New York State bond ever is- 
sued, appeared during the war wherein 
Governor George Clinton, being in need 
of money for the State, and learning 
that Long Island friends of the Ameri- 
cans were willing to advance one thou- 
sand pounds to further the cause of 
freedom, pledged the faith of the State 
with repayment of that sum and inter- 
est at six per cent. He sent a messen- 
ger, who obtained the money, and in ex- 
change gave the Governor's bond, which 
reads as follows : 

"State of New York, ss, — I hereby 
pledge the faith of said State for the 
repayment of the sum of one thousand 
pounds, current money of said State, in 
specie, with interest at the rate of six 
per cent per annum, to John Sands, 
Esq., or order, within one year after 
the conclusion of the present war with 
Great Britain. Given at Poughkeepsie, 
this 1st day June 1782. 

"Witness Geo. Trimble. 

"Geo. Clinton." 

The amount was raised as follows: 
Major R. Thorne, 200 pounds; John 
Thorne, 200 pounds; John Sands, 400 
pounds; Daniel Whitehead Kissam, 200 
pounds. The notes were paid. 

On the 22nd of August, 1776, a British 
force of 20,000 men under Lord Howe 
landed on Long Island, and on the 27th 


the battle was fought, resulting in the 
defeat of the Americans, who on the 
night of the 29th, favored by a dense 
fog, retreated to New York. The British 
plan had been formed to capture New 
York, ascend the Hudson, effect a junc- 
tion with a force from Canada, under 
General Carlton, and thus cut off com- 
munication between the patriots of New 
England and those of the middle and 
southern colonies; but the movements 
of Washington and the failure of Carl- 
ton frustrated the plan. 

On the 21st of April, 1777, a State 
constitution was adopted, and under it 
George Clinton was elected Governor, 

and he assumed the duties of that of- 
fice on the 31st of the following July. 
He remained Governor of New York 
State after the conclusion of peace be- 
tween America and Great Britain, which 
happy event occurred in 1783. In De- 
cember of the same year, by act of leg- 
islature, town meetings were held, and 
officers for the Town of Hempstead, un- 
der the new American Republic, were 

This section had remained in the 
hands of the British from the time of 
the Battle of Long Island until peace 
was concluded. 

- .' y 

: ~ ' * 

H 4 li, , 









ALTHOUGH the Rockaway peninsu- 
la cannot in any sense be consid- 
ered as a section which grew up 
overnig-ht, as the saying goes, it is an 
indisputable fact that the most impor- 
tant steps in its modern development 
were synonymous with the establish- 
ment of modern transit facilities. 

Several railroad routes commenced to 
operate throughout the peninsula in the 
early "seventies" when there were not 
many residents and the real and rapid 
advance and progress were then made. 

During the eighteenth century Rock- 
away had two roads connecting with 
Jamaica and Hempstead. The first road 
was a mere pathway, formerly used bj' 
the Indians, and formed the foundation 
for the present Jamaica and Rockaway 
turnpike. That part of the path pass- 
ing round the head of the bay, now 
known as Hook Creek, was frequently im- 
passable owing to floods. The Rockaway 
pass, mentioned in Field's "Battle of 
Long Island," over which William How- 
ard and his fourteen-year-old son were 
compelled to guide a detachment of Brit- 
ish soldiers, was a bridle path over the 
hills situated where Evergreen Cemetery 
now is and led to the northerly end of 
the present Rockaway Boulevard in 
Brooklyn, there connecting with the pres- 
snt turnpike road. 

The other and better road was the main 
road corresponding with the present 
Broadway. This road led to Hempstead 
and branched also to Jamaica. What- 
ever journeys were made to or from 
Rockaway Neck by the small number of 
settlers, had perforce to be made either 
by one of these roads — in which case 
man's faithful friend the horse was the 
3nly assistance available — or else by boat 
icross the bay. As time went on, stage 
2oaches, which also carried the mail, 
connected w"th the Rockaways, and it is 
svident from the following interesting 
advertisement, copied from the Long 
Island Telegraph, published at Hemp- 
stead in 1830, that it took several hours 
;o reach B-'ooklvn. The advertisement 
reads as follows : 

"The Hempstead stage leaves the vil- 
.age of Hemps^tepd, starting from the 
bouse of Davis Bedell, every Monday, 

Wednesday and Friday morning, at eight 
o'clock, and returns on Tuesday, Thurs- 
day and Saturday, leaving the house of 
Coe S. Downing, Fulton street, Brook- 
lyn, at precisely 2 o'clock p. m. Ar- 
rangement is made to carry passengers 
to and from Rockaway by the above line. 
"Curtis & Mervin, Proprietors." 

With the opening of the Marine Pa- 
vilion at Far Rockaway in 1834, and the 
construction of the turnpike road in the 
same year by the company formed for 
that purpose, traveling became easier. 
Stages were run from Brooklyn direct 
to the Pavilion and coaching to Rock- 
away became extremely fashionable. 
Beautiful teams of horses attached to 
elaborate "tally-ho" turnouts made the 
journey in fine time, and noted sports- 
men vied with each other in the excel- 
lence of their equipages. These coach- 
ing parties survived until a few years 
ago, but the "four-in-hand" seems, in 
these parts at least, to have passed into 

A scheme to construct a steam railroad 
to Rockaway was launched as early as 
1833, four routes being surveyed and 
estimates obtained. The accepted esti- 
mate for the Rockaway branch for a 
single track was placed at $110,000, but 
up to the year 1868 the line had been 
constructed only as far as Valley Stream. 

In 1868 the South Side Railroad of 
Long Island started construction work 
on a branch line from Valley Stream 
and completed the road to Far Rockaway 
in the following year, under the charter 
of the Far Rockaway Branch Railroad. 
The trains were, of course, drawn by 
steam locomotives. In 1872 the same 
company extended the line by construct- 
ing the "Rockaway Railway" from Far 
Rockaway, along the ocean front after 
leaving Wave Crest, to the Neptune 
House at Rockaway Beach, a distance of 
four miles. 

A time table for this route, dated May 
27th, 1872, lists the stations on this 
Rockaway Branch as follows : 

Valley Stream, Hewletts, Woodsburgh, 
Ocean Point, Lawrence, Far Rockaway, 
South Side Pavilion, Eldert's Grove, 
Hollands, Seaside House. 



Previous to this the Brooklyn and 
Rockaway Beach Hne had, in 1866, com- 
menced to operate trains from East New 
York to Canarsie, from which point pas- 
sengers were taken by ferry boat across 
Jamaica Bay to Rockaway Beach. 

Another line, known as the Spring- 
field "cut-off," was built in 1873 by the 
Long Island Railroad Company from 
Rockaway Junction (now Hillside, Ja- 
maica) by way of Springfield Junction. 
This line entered the Rockaways at 
Oceanpoint (now Cedarhurst) where the 
first station was located, and tracks ran 
parallel with the South Side tracks. The 
new line of the Long Island Railroad was 
in opposition to the South Side line and 
was a shorter distance by seven miles. 
The Long Island Railroad Company later 
on acquired the interests of the South 
Side Railroad, and operations of trains 
over the shorter route has ceased for sev- 
eral years past. The double track re- 
mains untouched but is overgrown with 
weeds and other signs of neglect abound. 
Two of the Long Island Railroad Com- 
pany's presidents, Oliver Charlick and 
Havemeyer, paid considerable attention 
to Rockaway Beach at that period and 
several additional routes were suggested, 
but not built. The idea of connecting 
Rockaway Beach with Brooklyn by a road 
across Jamaica Bay was then conceived, 
and several plans suggested but not act- 
ed upon until 1880, in which year the 
present trestle across Jamaica Bay was 
built. The route was called "the air 
line." The writer wonders whether a 
real "air line" will be established in the 
near future, when airplanes will be the 
means of locomotion. 

The trestle route owed its existence 
to Senator James M. Oakley and his as- 
sociates, incorporated in 1877 as the 
New York, Woodhaven and Rockaway 
Railroad Company, which operated 
trains from Brooklyn, Bushwick and 
Long Island City terminals (owned by 
the Long Island Railroad Company) on 
its own tracks to Glendale Junction. This 
line was extended from Glendale through 
Woodhaven across the Jamaica Bay tres- 
tle, as far as the present terminal at 
Rockaway Park, making the total length 
of the route fifteen miles. 

The trestle route was opened in Au- 
gust, 1880, but the line was not suc- 
cessful financially, and, after operating 
until 1887, through foreclosure proceed- 
ings, it passed into the hands of the 

New York and Rockaway Beach Rail- 
way Company, now a leased line of the 
Long Island Railroad Company. Ele- 
vated trains of the Brooklyn Rapid Tran- 
sit are operated over this route in the 
summer season. 

This trestle road, known as the Ja- 
maica Bay route, has been a most poten- 
tial factor in the development of the 
Rockaways. The operation of trains 
through the Steinway tunnel under the 
East River direct to Pennsylvania Sta- 
tion, iManhattan, began in loio, and made 
it possible for Rockaway residents to 
reach the heart of the greatest city in 
the world within half an hour. 

The present stations at Rockaway 
Beach are Hammel, Holland, Steeplechase 
Station, Seaside and Rockaway Park. 
There are several stations on the trestle 
the names being Broad Channel, The 
Raunt, Goose Creek and Howard Beach. 
The Rockaway Village Railroad Com- 
pany was incorporated in March, 1886, 
and operated horse-drawn cars between 
the railroad station and beach at Far 
Rockaway. This line was succeeded bv 
a new electric corporation in 1897 known 
as the Ocean Electric Railway Company, 
which in addition to the Far Rockaway 
village route, commenced a trolley serv- 
ice over the Long Island Railroad tracks 
through Edgemere, Arverne and Ham- 
mels; thence along the Boulevard on 
its own tracks under a city franchise 
through Holland, Steeplechase, Seaside, 
and Rockaway Park, and thence over 
its own right of way and tracks through 
Belle Harbor and Neponsit, the fare for 
the whole distance being only five cents. 
All the lines before described are now 
owned or controlled by the Long Island 
Railroad Company, and all are electric- 
ally operated. 

Another electric trolley route is oper- 
ated between Jamaica and Far Rockaway 
by the Long Island Electric Railroad 
Company. This line opened about twen- 
ty years ago, passes through the north- 
erly sections of Cedarhurst, Lawrence 
and Inwood, and has its terminal near 
the railroad station. 

Although there have been numerous 
fatalities through persons being run over 
by trains, there has been only one very 
serious railroad traffic accident on these 
lines, and that occurred on July 5th, 
1875. On that occasion eight persons 
lost their lives and many others were 
injured, when two trains, crowded to ca- 



pacity with Fourth of July crowds, met 
in a head-on colision at Far Rockaway. 
The scene of the accident was on the 
tracks of the South Side road on the 
curve near the gas house, and was caused 
through the engineer of one of the trains 
ignoring a signal against him. 

During the summer season large pad- 
dle steam boats operate between Rock- 
away Beach and Coney Island and IVIan- 
hattan and are always crowded with 
passengers. There is also a frequent 
steam launch service between Rockaway 
Beach and Sheepshead Bay. 

There is a taxicab service at every 
railroad station. 

A little more than two years ago an 
attempt was made to establish a motor 
omnibus service from Far Rockaway 
to Rockaway Park. After running for 
several months the service stopped and 
the company has since surrendered its 
charter, but the rapid growth of the com- 
munity and the need for additional con- 
nections from end to end of the penin- 
sula predicate the belief that the at- 
tempt will be revived before many years 

Automobile owners and drivers and 
others proceeding by road complain of 
the distance between New York City and 
Brooklyn and the Rockaways. Because 
there is no direct land connection be- 
tween the city and the peninsula a long 
detour is occasioned. Direct connection 
between the mainland and the Rock- 
aways across Jamaica Bay would prove 
of inestimable value and benefit not only 
to the Rockaways but to the city itself, 
establishing as it would, a new outlet 

within its own taxable area and provid- 
ing an enormously increased tax assess- 
ment justified by the increment in value. 
There are several plans before the au- 
thorities at the present time to meet 
this requirement. The first is to extend 
Flatbush avenue, Brooklyn, over Barren 
Island and connect with the west end of 
the peninsula. Another and more desir- 
able, is to build a boulevard or road 
across the bay on a route almost parallel 
with the existing railroad trestle. This 
would terminate at the center of the 
peninsula and shorten the distance be- 
tween the city and the Rockaways by 
eight miles. It would appear on ac- 
count of continued delays in developing 
and dredging Jamaica Bay, for which 
purpose a large appropriation was made 
by the government several years ago, and 
is still available, that the game of poli- 
tics has its own objects to serve first 
and the needs of the community must 
wait. However, the immediate construc- 
tion of this cross bay road is being eager- 
ly pressed by Rockaway residents and 
civic bodies. 

Work has been started on the improve- 
ment of the Jamaica turnpike road, 
which, up to the present time, has been 
unfit for traffic other than the trolley 
line operated over it. It is proposed to 
widen this road for its entire length, 
raise the grade, making it in some places 
six feet higher, and to lay double tracks 
for the trolley service, so that the jour- 
ney to Jamaica will consume consider- 
ably less time than at preent. It is 
hoped to have the improvement com- 
pleted before the beginning of the 1918 


The water supply obtained by resi- 
dents of the Rockaways until the year 
1881 was by sinking individual wells, 
users drav/ing their own supplies di- 
rectly from the ground. In that year 
a Holly pumping engine was installed 
and a well specially sunk to supply 
water to the famous mammoth Rock- 
away Beach Hotel. This well or in- 
choate waterworks was located north 
of the hotel on the site of the present 
Alberts Hotel at Fifth avenue, Rock- 
away Park. Water was sold to a few 
consumers in the district and the pump- 
ing station continued doing business in 

a small way for a year or more. It was 
eventually purchased and dismantled in 
1890 by the Queens County Water Com- 
pany, which company came into exist- 
ance on March 20th, 1884. The first 
attempt to inaugurate a public supply 
system was the result of constant local 
agitation to abolish the well system, 
which, it was urged, was extremely dan- 
gerous in a growing section where the 
only means of sewage disposal was by 
the use of cesspools, which in time 
would be bound to contaminate the 



John Lockwood and six associates ap- 
plied to the authorities of the Town of 
Hempsetad on October 11th, 1883, for 
authority "to organize a water works 
company with a capital stock of $50,- 
000 to supply the town of Hempstead 
and its inhabitants with pure and 
wholesome water from wells sunk in the 
ground." The town granted a franchise 
on October 22nd, 1883 but excepted 
from it the territories of Garden 
City and the Village of Hemp- 
stead. The Queens County Water 
Company was incorporated on March 
27th, 1884, and issued its capital stock 
on May 1st, in the sum of $40,000, to 
R. I. Mullins and others for the con- 
struction of works at Far Rockaway. 
On June 3rd, following, $40,000 worth 
of bonds at 6 per cent interest were 
issued to Mullins in part payment for 
building equipment, and for completing 
works at Far Rockaway. Soon after- 
wards, the capital stock was increased 
from $40,000 to $50,000 and the addi- 
tional $10,000 was also issued to Mul- 
lins for extension of construction work 
at Far Rockaway. 

The system built by Mullins was 
completed and accepted December 15th, 
1885. Seven months later a five-years' 
contract was entered into by Queens 
and Nassau County supervisors with 
the water company to supply water to 
the fire district comprising the unin- 
corporated village of Far Rockaway. In 
1887 the company's capital stock was 
again increased to $100,000 and the ad- 
ditional $50,000 was issued to Mullins 
in part payment for money due for 
construction of the extension of the sys- 
tem to Rockaway Beach. R. V. W. Du- 
Bois and others, interested in the Com- 
pany, applied in June, 1887, to the local 
authorities of Hempstead for a renewal 
of the franchise granted in 1883. The 
renewal was asked for in order to en- 
able the company to reorganize its 
financial affairs. DuBois stated that 
the business had extended beyond what 
was contemplated at the time of the 
original organization and in particular 
that the continuation of the mains to 
Rockaway Beach required an enlarge- 
ment of the Company's financial basis. 
On June 13th, 1887, a new franchise 
was granted, not directly to the Queens 
County Water Company, but to DuBois 
and his associates, who proceeded in 
October, 1887, to organize another cor- 

poration, the Queens County Water 
Company of Long Island. The inter- 
relations and subsequent combination 
of the two companies are obscured by 
the mists that hang over those early 
days of the Rockaway water supply. The 
original company had to issue scrip to 
pay the interest on its outstanding 
bonds. Between the new company and 
the old, the mains were extended to 
Rockaway Beach. 

The water company's first pumping 
station and well system was construct- 
ed in Far Rockaway on a parcel of land 
bordering Carlton avenue, just south 
of the Long Island Railroad right of 
way. The water supply at this point 
proved to be insufficient and another 
station was established on Remsen 
avenue, north of Long Island Railroad 
right of way. This new source of sup- 
ply also proved inadequate. The princi- 
pal stockholders of the Company, about 
1890 or 1891, acquired a tract of land 
near Valley Stream and thereafter put 
down wells and constructed a pumping 
station. The source of supply proved 
to be satisfactory and the nev/ plant was 
leased to the Company on February 
1st, 1893. For eighteen j'ears, subse- 
quent to 1893, the company secured its 
entire water supply from the Valley 
Stream plant, but, by 1911, the increas- 
ing demand for water on the Rockaway 
peninsula during the summer months, 
induced the Company to establish an 
auxiliary station at Washington avenue, 
Rockaway Park, for use for a few hours 
each day during the heaviest summer 

During the early period of its exist- 
ence the Company was in continual 
financial straits. From 1884 to 1900 
no dividends were paid and operating 
expenses were seldom earned. In 1893 
judgments amounting to about $150,000 
were secured against the Company, and, 
about that time, Franklin B. Lord, of 
Lawrence, became interested. He suc- 
ceeded in putting the Company on a 
sound financial basis. 

The Valley Stream Supply is taken 
from 74 shallow wells and from 52 wells 
ranging in depth from 140 to 210 feet. 
The capacity of these wells is fifteen 
million gallons daily. The Company 
also have four wells at Lynbrook which 
are held in reserve for future need. At 
Rockaway Park they have three wells 
ranging from 760 to 780 feet in depth. 


The water at Valley Stream is filtered 
by three slow sand filters of a daily ca- 
pacity of about seven million gallons. 
The pumping capacity is twenty million 
gallons daily. At the Rockaway Park 
auxiliary station there is a mechanical 
filter of a daily capacity of about one 
and a half million gallons and the pump- 
ing capacity is two million gallons daily. 
All water is filtered before being 
pumped into the distribution system. 

The Company has about 200 miles of 
mains, of which 90 miles are in Queens 
County, and 110 miles in Nassau Coun- 
ty. The district supplied is a long nar- 
row neck of land and the distance from 
the pumping station to the extreme end 
of the distribution area is over 13 miles. 

The supply is under constant inspec- 

tion by the City of New York and the 
Company also has independent analysis. 
The water is very soft and pure and of 
a most excellent quality. 

The area supplied by the Company 
consists of the Fifth Ward of the Bor- 
ough of Queens; the incorporated vil- 
lages of Lawrence, Cedarhurst, Lyn- 
brook. East Rockaway and Woodsburgh; 
and the unincorporated sections 
known as Inwood, Koodmere, Hew- 
lett, Valley Stream and Oceanside. 

There are now approximately eleven 
thousand individual water consumers in 
the area of supply and the work of the 
company is most efficiently done under 
the able supervision of the engineer, 
Charles R. Bettes. 


The development of the present ex- 
cellent lighting, heating and power 
equipment in this locality, is in itself 
a most interesting history. 

Prior to the year 1880, all local 
houses and the streets, which were then 
lanes, were illuminated — in the few 
lanes which boasted artificial light — en- 
tirely from oil lamps. Contemporaneous 
advertisements informed the public that 
"Best Test oil was 12 cents per gallon." 
Before this time inhabitants made and 
dipped their own candles, the only arti- 
ficial illuniinant they knew. 

On February 19th, 1880, the Rock- 
away Gas Light Company was in- 
corporated for the purpose of manufac- 
turing and supplying artificial gas to 
Attrill's new monster hotel at Rock- 
away Beach. This was the first attempt 
of its kind by any body of local men 
to provide gas lighting. A thirty-thou- 
sand foot gas holder was erected on the 
plant then located at Rockaway Park on 
the present site at Washington avenue. 
Of this company Henry Attrill was 
president and James A. Taylor, treas- 
urer. The hotel was never properly 
opened, but gas was manufactured at 
the plant and supplied to local consum- 
ers. The original gas tank is now used 
for storing tar by the Queens Borough 
Gas and Electric Company at their 
Rockaway Park plant. 

The old company had a very short ex- 
istence. Fire broke out on the plant 

and the office building, containing all 
the company's records, was totally de- 
stroyed. The Rockaway Gas Light Com- 
pany sold its entire business on May 
20th, 1882, to the Town of Hempstead 
Gas and Electric Light Company. The 
principal directors and officers in the 
latter company were Edward W. Meal- 
ey, president ; Henry Stack, secretary ; 
Henry Y. Attrill, William A. Kenner, 
George L. Geran, Frederick A. Phipps, 
William K. Soulier and Charles F. 

This company was more businesslike 
than its predecessor and went ahead 
manufacturing gas, which it sold to con- 
sumers resident in the Rockaways, un- 
til July 1st, 1902, when it was merged 
in the present Queens Borough Gas and 
Electric Company. 

Another company, known as the 
Rockaway Electric Light Company, was 
formed in 1890, but this had a short and 
unsuccessful existence. This company 
was incorporated on May 8th, 1890, by 
Henry E. Hawley, John A. Seeley, 
James A. Taylor and Horace K. Thur- 
ber for the purpose of operating at 
Rockaway Beach under a franchise 
granted to Samuel R. Myers in 1889. 
This franchise and the business of the 
Rockaway Electric Light Company is 
now owned by the Queens Borough Gas 
and Electric Company, with which it 
was merged on July 26th, 1897. 

The next local combination was 



formed by Far Rockaway men on 
March 12th, 1892, under the name of 
the Citizens Lighting Company. The 
stockholders were Thomas Henderson, 
Samuel B. Althause, Jr., James Caffrey, 
Smith M. Decker, Edward Roche, Rich- 
ard L. Gipson, Frederick M. Richmond, 
Newman J. Pettit, Delmar L. Starks, 
David H. Jennings and Joseph C. Big- 
lin. This company operated at Far 
Rockaway until June 29th, 1898, when 
the business was sold to the Queens 
Borough Electric Light and Power 
Company, incorporated for that purpose 
on February 28th of the same year. The 
stockholders in the new corporation 
were Van Wyck Rossiter, president; 
David H. Valentine, Royal C. Peabody, 

C. L. Rossiter, T. S. Williams, Frank 
McGovern, Joseph C. Biglin, Isaac M. 
Sutton and H. Hobart Porter, Jr. 

The Queens Borough Gas and Elec- 
tric Company, the present supplier of 
light and power to the entire Rockaway 
peninsula, was incorporated on July 
1st., 1902, and acquired the business of 
the Electric Light and Power Company 
on that date. The first directors were 
V. Everit Macy, G. D. Gregory, Eugene 

D. Hawkins, Alfred H. Bronson, Nelson 
C. Thrall, H. Hobart Porter, Jr., George 
Crocker, and Carleton Macy. 

This company at once initiated a pro- 
gressive and sound businesslike method 

of doing business, which has done a 
great deal to assist the rapid advance- 
ment and desirability as a place of resi- 
dence of all parts of the peninsula. 

Carleton Macy was elected president 
in March, 1904, and has continued so 
until the present time. Under his able 
and painstaking guidance, the concern 
flourished and became of real public 
service and is the largest permanent 
employer of labor in this section. For 
efficiency of service and promptitude in 
handling the enormous demands made 
upon it at the beginning of each season, 
the company has no superior. Its area 
of service is from Oceanside on the east, 
to Neponsit on the west. There are 180 
miles of gas mains in the street and 165 
miles of electric pole lines. The main 
electricity generating station is at Bays- 
water, Far Rockaway, and the principal 
gas works are at Rockaway Beach, 
while there are sub-stations at Far 
Rockaway, Rockaway Beach and Lyn- 
brook. There are about 8,000 all-year- 
round consumers of gas and 4,500 users 
of electricity in the Rockaways. 

The present directors of the Queens 
Borough Gas and Electric Company are 
V. Everit Macy, George D. Gregory, Eu- 
gene D. Hawkins, James A. Mooney, 
Carleton Macy, Alfred H. Bronson, and 
Ira R. Stewart. 


The first banking institution was 
established in the peninsula on May 1, 
1888, at Far Rockaway, on Catherine 
street fnow Central avenue), near 
Cornaga avenue, in the front part of a 
frame building used by J. M. Kraus as 
a dry goods store. The growth and 
progress of that little bank have been 

George Wallace and Charles L. 
Wallace, residents of Freeport, and 
Samuel R. Smith, also of Freeport — who 
had just returned after an absence of 
ten years spent in conducting a general 
store business in Drayton, North Da- 
kota, where he was president also of 
the State Bank — commenced business 
as private bankers in the village of Far 
Rockaway, with a capital of five thou- 
sand dollars. Mr. Smith, who is now 

the president of the Bank of Long 
Island, was then cashier, bookkeeper 
and clerk, and the only active man in 
the business. The need of a bank im- 
mediately became obvious and its serv- 
ices were at once utilized by residents 
throughout the peninsula. Two months 
after opening Valentijie W. Smith of 
Merrick joined Samuel R. Smith as an 
assistant. Business increased rapidly 
and the Far Rockaway Bank was 
formally organized on January 1, 1889, 
with a capital of $25,000. Deposits at 
that time were approximately $75,000. 
Officers of the new bank were Peter N. 
Davenport, president; W. A. Wynn, 
vice-president; Samuel R. Smith, cash- 
ier, and Valentine W. Smith, assistant 
cashier. The first directors were: 
Peter N. Davenport, W. A. Wynn, Sam- 



uel R. Smith, S. B. Althause, Jr.; Ed- 
mund J. Healy, William Scott, Dr. J. 
Carl Schmuck, George P. Bergen, 
Thomas Henderson, Thomas F. White, 
and Henry Craft. 

The handsome brick building at the 
corner of Cornaga and Central avenues 
was erected in 1890 and the volume of 
business transacted jumped up by 
leaps and bounds until this became the 
only bank in the State with a capital 
of $25,000 having deposits exceeding 
one million dollars. 

The Far Rockaway Bank was merged 
in the new Bank of Long Island on Jan- 
uary 1st, 1903, which latter establish- 
ment was formed by the amalgamation 
of the Flushing, Jamaica and Far Rock- 
away banks. Samuel R. Smith became 
president, with headquarters at Ja- 
maica, and Valentine W. Smith was, and 
is, vice-president in charge at the Far 
Rockaway branch. The Bank of Long 
Island now has twelve branches in the 
Borough of Queens, with a capital and 
surplus of $1,600,000, and deposits ex- 
ceeding thirteen million dollars. Local 
branches of the Bank of Long Island 
have been established at Hammels, now 
in charge of William S. Milan, and at 
Seaside, now in charge of William H. 

The National Bank of Far Rockaway 
is housed in the show building of the 
village. The ornate three-story marble 
finished structure, which immediately 
attracts one's attention when arriving 
at the railroad depot, was opened on 
July 1, 1912. The National Bank of Far 
Rockaway is an offshoot of the Queens 
County Trust Company and was char- 

tered on October 21st, 1908. Business 
was commenced on November 8th of the 
same year in leased offices in the old 
Wynn Building, near Cornaga avenue, 
on Central avenue. The first president 
v/as Harry G. Heyson; Jacob Lauch- 
heimer was vice-president, and James 
L. Stanley cashier. The same gentle- 
men continue in office and are assisted 
by a board of directors consisting of 
Joseph Fried, Charles A. Brodek, Max 
Katz, E. J. Decker, Lewis H. May, 
William S. Pettit and Philip P. Scott. 

The Bank of Lawrence was organized 
under that name in the fall of 1902 by 
Talbot J. Taylor, Robert L. Burton, John 
H. Smith and Dr. J. Carl Schmuck, who 
commenced business in February of the 
following year at the present bank. The 
first directors were Edwin Abrams, 
Richardson Brower, John A. Ruth, Dr. 
J, Carl Schmuck, Origen Seymour, John 
H. Smith and L. Stuart Wing. The capi- 
tal of the corporation was $25,000 and 
there was a subscribed surplus of 

The Bank of Lawrence has greatly as- 
sisted the development of the westerly 
end of the peninsula by its consistent 
policy of encouragement of local and 
deserving business men and concerns 
and the aid it has lent to them. The 
present directors are: Dr. J. Carl 
Schmuck, president; John H. Smith, 
vice-president; John A. Ruth, cashier; 
Morris F. Craft, Divine Hewlett, James 
W. Safford and Winfield S. Vandewater. 
The capital is now $50,000 and there is 
a surplus of undivided profits of $65,000. 


Among the Fraternal orders estab- 
lished in the Rockaways, the wealthiest 
is Olympia Lodge, No. 808, of the 
Ancient Order of Free and Accepted 
Masons, which owns the handsome 

Masonic Temple on Mott avenue. Far 
Rockaway. The order having the 
largest membership is Rockaway Aerie, 
No. 1544, Fraternal Order of Eagles, 
which meets at Arion Hall, Rockaway 



Beach. The aerie has a considerable 
nucleus for a building fund, with which 
it intends to build its own home at an 
early date. The membership of this 
order is at present about 500. 

Certain local Masons, now deceased, 
were granted a dispensation on June 
24th, 1893, valid for one year, to enable 
them to form a new lodge for the Rock- 
aways, and their efforts were so suc- 
cessful that the Grand Lodge of the 
State of New York, on June 7th, 1894, 
issued a full charter, authorizing the 
formation of the present lodge. The 
officers named on the charter were Peter 
N. Davenport, master; J. Carl Schmuck, 
senior warden, and Archibald Mutch, 
junior warden. The first meetings were 
held in a brick building near Cornaga 
avenue on Central avenue. Far Rocka- 
way, where Mullen & Buckley now do 
business. Meetings were held there for 
about six years, when headquarters 
were changed to the fourth floor of the 
Horton Building (now Teddy's), also on 
Central avenue. The lodge continued 
there for eleven years. The present 
Masonic Temple was built and first used 
bv the Masons in 1910, and has been 

the permanent home since that date. 
The present membership is about 350 

Other orders with branches estab- 
lished in the peninsula are the Inde- 
pendent Order of Odd Fellows, Forest- 
ers of America, Junior Order United 
American Mechanics, Sons and Daugh- 
ters of Liberty, Exempt Firemen's As- 
sociation. Knights of Pythias, Knights 
of Columbus, Catholic Benevolent Asso- 
ciation, Loyal Order of Moose and Red 
Men. The Boy Scouts of America have 
numerous branches throughout the 

The business associations include the 
Civic Federation of the Rockaways, 
Progress Society at Far Rockaway, Board 
of Trade at Rockaway Beach, Far Rock- 
away Business Men's Association, Rock- 
away Beach Business Men's Associa- 
tion, Rockaway Park Citizens Associa- 
tion, Rockaway Beach Liquor Dealer's 
Association, West End League, Somer- 
ville Improvement Society, Women of 
Arverne, Far Rockaway Women's Club, 
Women's Suffrage Party, Half Way 
House Improvement Association, and 
the Edgemere Taxpayer's Association. 


THE admittedly high standard of 
free education provided for chil- 
dren in the Rockaway peninsula 
is a most important factor in the suc- 
cess and prosperity of the place. 

In these days of hustling energy and 
aggressive efficiency one's educational 
attainments form one's chiefest qualifi- 
cations in the battle of life. Parents 
seeking the best for their children have 
no hesitation in choosing schools in the 
Rockaways as having the highest stand- 

This chapter deals exclusively with 
the various public schools and the his- 
tory of each is given in the village or 
school district of which it now forms a 

Lawrence — Cedarhurst — In wood 

The villages of Lawrence, Cedarhurst 
and Inwood form Union Free School 
District No. 15 of the Town of Hemp- 
stead. This district was placed under 

the Superintendency of Schools Act in 
1906, with Fred De L. King superin- 
tendent, which position he stills holds. 


Mr. King has under his superintend- 
ency the Lawrence High School, Law- 
rence Grammar School, Cedarhurst 
Grammar School and two grammar 
schools at Inwood, all of which have 
a present registration of about 1,650 



pupils, forming sixty classes. There 
are sixty-four teachers. 

The imposing brick and stone school 
building in Lawrence was erected in 
1913 at a cost of about $125,000, on the 
site of the former frame school build- 
ing. The latter was built in 1893, and 
later torn down to make way for the 
present building which is at once the 
home of the high school for the district 
and the grammar school for Lawrence. 

The principal of these two schools is 
Cecil C. MacDonald, and the present 
registration of pupils is about 140 in 
the high school and 436 in the grammar 
school. The equipment includes a well 
chosen library for use of scholars and 
the public, a fine gymnasium, domestic 
science rooms, laboratories and shops. 

teacher, in the Abram's building at 
Lawrence. Two years after the move 
to Central avenue Mr. King was author- 
ized and instructed to organize a high 
school for the district, which he did on 
June 26, 1895. 

The old Broadway school was the 
first public school ever used in Rock- 
away. Old men living in the Rockaways 
remember when they attended the 
school at Lawrence before the first Far 
Rockaway school was opened. The late 
Peter N. Davenport and George Wal- 
lace, then young men, were once teach- 
ers there. 

The members of the Board of Educa- 
tion are Leslie L. Beach, president, and 
John McNicoll, George B. Simmons, Gil- 
bert E. Horton and John Ruth, trustees. 


1 • 


.^UsKSS^^ -*v^^ 1 



fe^ - v-\ 






The Cedarhurst school (No. 3) was 
erected in 1902 and has a present reg- 
istration of 207 pupils. The principal 
is Willard B. Gardner. 

The Inwood school (No. 2) has a 
registration of 343 pupils, the principal 
being Frederick S. Slack. 

The large public school (No. 4) at 
Inwood, the principal of which is 
Robert G. Horn, has a registration of 
514 pupils. This building has an audi- 
torium capable of seating 700 persons. 

When Mr. King first took charge, in 
1892, the total registration of pupils 
was only 286 in the whole district, and 
the principal school was then situated 
at the corner of Frost Lane and Broad- 
way, Lawrence. This building now 
stands near West Broadway, Wood- 
mere. The Central avenue building 
was occupied in 1893. At that time 
there was a branch school with one 
teacher, in the Comb's building at In- 
wood, and another branch, also with one 


The officers are: Fred De L. King, su- 
perintendent; Newman J. Pettit, clerk; 
J. Russell Sprague, treasurer, and 
Lewis P. De.xter, Jr., truant officer. 

The following is a list of those who 
have been members of the Board of 
Education since the year 1890: The 
late Franklin B. Lord, Theodore A. 
Gauntt, the late John W. De Mott, Sam- 
uel D. Abrams, Freeman Sprague, Jr., 
Julian D. F'airchild, John H. Smith, the 
late Theodore Sprague, Garrett C. Van 
Dine, William Player, Jr., Edward J. 
Horn, Joseph H. Foster, James W. Saf- 
ford, the late Wilbur B. Wood, Morris 
F. Craft, John G. McNicoll, Andrew 
Weston, Percy C. Vandewater, George 



B. Simmons, Theodore Bowker, the late 
Oliver S. Davison, Franklin B. Lord, Jr., 
George A. Johnson, Leslie L. Beach, 
Gilbert E. Horton, John A. Ruth. 

The school district assessment for the 
present year is $8,589,212. 


Woodmere and Hewlett 

Woodmere and Hewlett villages form 
Union Free School District No. 14 
(Town of Hempstead), of which Charles 
S. Wright is principal. In earlier days 
in those parts children went to school 
first at Valley Stream, then to Lawrence 
and afterwards to a school house built 
in Hewlett, near Grant Park. In 1898 
this building ceased to be used for 
school purposes and was sold. It was 
later moved to near Woodmere Bay, and 
is now used as the home of the Wood- 
mere Yacht Club. 


A new school was built in 1898, when 
the district was made a separate Union 
Free school district. High school train- 
ing was begun in 190-3 and the school 
building enlarged in 1910. This build- 
ing was totally destroyed by fire in 
September, 1916. Since that time 
classes have been held in various stores 

and at the fire house, pending construc- 
tion of the new and imposing building 
on Broadway, which is almost completed 
and expected to be ready for occupancy 
early next year. The cost of the new 
school is estimated at $140,000, and it 
will accommodate both high school and 
grammar school pupils. There is to be 
a gymnasium in the buildmg. 

The present registration at the Wocd- 
mere-Hewlett Grammar School is about 
300 scholars, and at the high school 40 
scholars. There are fifteen teachers. 

The school board consists of William 
H. E. Jay, president; Smith Carman, 
Garrj' Brower, Emil Darmstadt and 
Dallas Brower. 

The school district assessment is now 

Far Rockaway Schools 

The first Union District Free School 
was erected in Far Rockaway about the 
year 1861 on land now occupied by the 
Magistrate's Court House, a small part 
of which building is part of the old 
school house. The land was given for 


the purpose by Benjamin B. Mott, 
known as "Little Ben." The school 
house stood back in the woods and was 
approached from Mott's lane by a path 
now covered by the public library. The 
name of the first teacher was Patrick 
Burns and he lodged first at Calfrey's 
hotel on Greenwood avenue, and later 



at Lawrence Duncan's house. About 25 
boys and girls, several of whom are still 
living-, attended. There were also two 
or three private schools, one being con- 
ducted by Mrs. Mary Hartford at 
Broadway and Cornaga avenue. 

Prior to the erection of the public 
school those children of residents who 
went to school attended the old school 
house on Broadway in what is now Lav/- 
rence, to receive their teaching. As 
time passed on and the village grew, 
more teachers were employed and bet- 
ter school accommodations became 
necessary. A fine new public school 
building was erected on State street in 
1893, the number of pupils then being 
about 250. A high school was estab- 
lished in the same building in the year 
1895. Two years later the school was 
considerably enlarged and in 1907 the 
annex was built. Plans are now being 
prepared for an additional story of 
eight rooms to be erected at an esti- 
mated cost of $55,000. 


The primary school is known as pub- 
lic school 39, Borough of Queens, and 
the present number of pupils is about 
800. The high school has a registration 
of about 500 pupils. Both schools are 
under the highly efficient management 
of the principal, Sanford J. Ellsworth, 
who has held that position since 1895, 
when he organized the high school. The 
schools employ forty-five teachers and 
provide a complete course from kinder- 
garten to college. About fifty pupils 
are graduated yearly and many of them 
go to college or training schools for 

In connection with the school there 
is a well equipped gymnasium, a library 
and laboratories. 

Rockaway Beach and Arverne Schools 
The public schools of Arverne and 
Eockaway Beach, in the Borough of 
Queens, consist of public school No. 42 
at Arverne, public school No. 44 at Hol- 
land and public school No. 43 at Rock- 
away Park, all under the capable man- 
agement of one principal, William M. 



The first public school at Rockaway 
Beach was conducted by Mrs. Julia Hol- 
land (wife of Michael P. Holland), who 
was appointed schoolmistress for that 
Union Free School district of the Town 
of Hempstead in 1878. Mrs. Holland 
taught in her own home at Holland and 
Railroad avenues and started with ten 
pupils. She remained schoolmistress 
until 1881, when the large school 
house, now the Rockaway Beach police 
station, was erected, and Mr. Candee 
became the schoolmaster. Others suc- 
ceeded him and Mr. Gilmore was ap- 
pointed by the local Board of Education 
in the spring of 1894. At that time 
there were five teachers in the central 
school house, and two "annex" or 
branch schools were being used, one on 
Washington avenue and one on Lincoln 
avenue, Rockaway Park, each under the 
direction of one teacher. The total reg- 
istration was then less than 300 pupils. 

The schools became part of the public 
school system of Greater New York at 
the time of consolidation, on January 



1, 1898, in June of which year there 
were ten classes and a total registration 
of 438 pupils. 

In April, 1901, the new building near 
Holland Station (public school 44) was 
opened and all the classes in the old 
buildings were transferred to the new 
building. There were then ten classes 
and a total registration in June of the 
same year of 551 pupils. 

The new building at Rockaway Park 
(public school 43) was opened in De- 
cember, 1903, with three classes, and a 
total registration of 102 pupils. In June 
of 1904 these two schools had a total 
registration of 812 pupils, and in De- 
cember of the same year the new build- 
ing at Arverne, public school 42, was 
opened with three classes and a regis- 
tration of 97 pupils. 

The average registration of the three 

been called to the urgency of the need, 
no provision for extension has yet been 

All of the foregoing schools which 
existed before consolidation of Greater 
New York in 1898 were at one time 
Union Free schools under the Town of 
Hempstead. To emphasize their growth 
the author quotes the following inter- 
esting extract from minutes on the rec- 
ord book of Common School District 15, 
Town of Hempstead (in which district 
the peninsula was included), dated Jan- 
uary 1, 1849 : 

"To the superintendent of Common 
Schools of the Town of Hempstead, we, 
the trustees of the school district num- 
ber fifteen in the said town in conform- 
ity with the statutes relating to com- 
mon schools do certify and report that 
the whole time our school has been in 


schools is now about 1,600 pupils in the 
winter months and this is increased to 
approximately 2,200 in the summer 
months, when many summer visitors 
register their children for school at- 
tendance in this district. 

In addition to the foregoing, two bone 
tubercular classes are taught at Nepon- 
sit Beach Hospital. 

Additions are sorely needed to the 
Holland school CNo. 44), and although 
the attention of the city authorities has 

session since the date of the last report 
for the said district is eleven months, and 
since the date of said last report our 
school has been kept by teachers after 
obtaining a certificate of qualifications 
according to law for eleven months, that 
the amount of money apportioned to our 
district by the Town Superintendent of 
Schools during the said year and since 
the date of the said last report, except 
library money, is one hundred and twelve 
dollars and twenty-five cents, and that 



the said sum has been applied to the 
payment of compensation of teachers 
employed in the said district and li- 
censed as the statute prescribes. That 
the amount of library money received in 
our district from the town superintend- 
ent of common schools was twenty- 
eight dollars and six and one-fourth 
cents, and that the said sum was on or 
before the first day of October last ap- 
plied to the purchase of a library for 
the said district. That the number of 
volumes belonging to the district 
library and on hand on the last day of 
December is three hundred and sixteen. 
That the number of children taught in 
said district and during said year and 
since last report is one hundred and 
twenty and the names and ages of which 
are as follows: — (Oldest — 21. Youngest 

"That of the said children thirty-nine 
attended less than two months. Thirty- 
six less than four months and more 
than one. Ten for four months and less 
than six. Twenty, six months and less 
than eight. Seven, eight months and 
less than ten. Eight, ten months and 
less than twelve. And that the number 
of children residing with their parents 
in our district on the last day of De- 
cember last, who are over five and un- 
der sixteen years of age is one hun- 
dred and ninety. (Complete census is 

"And we further report that our 
school has been visited by the town su- 
perintendent twice during the year pre- 
ceding this report and that the sum 
paid for teachers' wages over and above 
the public money appropriated to said 
district during the said year amounted 
to $175.25. That the amount raised by 
taxes during the said year was for re- 
pairs, etc., $30. That the school books 
in use in said district during the said 
year were as follows : Porter's Rhet- 
orical Reader, New York Readers Nos. 
1 and 2, Websters' Dictionary and 
Spelling Book, Walker's Dictionary, 
Smith and Browns' Grammar, Colburn's 
and Smith's Arithmetics, Morse and 
IVritchell's Geography. 
"January 1, 1849. 

"G. D. CRAFT, 


"District Clerk." 

Parochial schools in the Rockaways 
are fully described in another chapter 
containing the history of the various 
churches to which thev are attached. 

Public Libraries 

The establishment of a free library 
building in Far Rockawa.v was made 
possible bj' the Carnegie donation, for 
in 1903 the sum of $240,000 was allotted 
to the Borough of Queens for the erec- 
tion of library buildings. It was at first 
proposed to expend this sum on the con- 
struction of three buildings, but, owing 
chiefly to the suggestion and energy of 
Peter J. McGinnis of Far Rockaway, 
then member of the Library Board of 
Queens, it was finall.y decided to erect 
six buildings in the borough, at a maxi- 
mum cost of $40,000 each, one such 
building to be erected at Far Rockaway. 

The present site of the library build- 
ing at the corner of Central and Mott 
avenues, which had been given by 
Benjamin B. Mott with the old school 
house site, and was then owned by the 
city, was utilized for the Imilding and 
the latter was opened on August 18, 

The local library committee then con- 
sisted of Peter J. McGinnis, Rev. Mr. 
Demarest and John A. Loope. 

About the same time a store was 
leased and a small branch library 
opened at Hammels. This branch was 
removed in 1912 to more convenient 
quarters in the McKennee Building, 
near Holland Station. 

The local libraries have been a great 
boon and educational aid. The cour- 
teous treatment of library employees 
is a constant encouragement to use the 
excellent collection of books, which is 
constantly increasing. A special 
feature is the frequent "story hour" 
for children, whose minds are thus 
trained in an interesting manner to look 
to books for aid in their search for 


The first newspaper was published on 
June 23, 1883, at Far Rockaway by the 
late Watkin W. Jones. It was called 
"The Rattler," for the first year of its 
existence, but the name was then 
changed to the "Rockaway Journal." 
The paper was issued weekly and was 



successful for a number of years. It 
greatly aided the growth of the place, 
but later went out of existence. 

There are now two weekly papers 
published at Rockaway Beach, viz., the 

"Wave" and the "Argus." Far Rock- 
away possesses three similar publica- 
tions, viz., "Rockaway Life," "Far 
Rockaway Journal" and the "Rockaway 


EVERY section of the peninsula is 
well cared for from a religious 
standpoint, and large congrega- 
tions attend the services of Roman 
Catholics, Hebrews and Protestants of 
all denominations. Churches, syna- 
gogues and social centres are numerous, 
well founded and, in general, on a sound 
financial basis. The worship of God is 
regular and devout and this religious 
spirit and the guidance of the ministers 
has been greatly instrumental in the 
peaceful and successful development of 
the peninsula, and the means of train- 
ing the minds of some of New York's 
foremost citizens, who live or lived 
here and had the advantages of that 
guidance and training. A description 
and history of each church or syna- 
gogue will be found in the succeeding 

the site of the first Rockaway church, 
near the Long Island Railroad crossing 
on the Jamaica and Jericho Turnpike 
road. The present edifice, valued at 
$40,000, is the centre of religious life at 
Lawrence, and the pastor, the Rev. 
Henry Blatz, has the care of an ever- 
increasing and devout congregation, 
among which are many of the leading 
residents of Lawrence and Cedarhurst. 

On November 13th, 1831, this church founded and officers were elected at 
an organization meeting held at the 
home of John Baylis. The new church 
was called McThendre's Chapel, and 
was part of the Hempstead Methodist 
Episcopal Circuit. 

The first church building, erected dur- 
ing the year of its foundation, 1831, was 

An Early Sunday School 

The following letter, written by Jane 
Cornaga in 1818, shows the early estab- 
lishment of a Sunday school at Far 
Rockaway. The writer possesses the 
original letter: 

"Far Rockaway, May 2, 1818. 

"Sir, I am happy to inform you that 
our Sunday school here has a very 
promising appearance; but the Scholars 
labour under many disadvantages from 
the want of books. I am therefore re- 
quested by our Superintendent, Mrs. B. 
Cornell, and the teachers, to request 
you (if you please,) for ten or fifteen 
testaments, the receipt of them will be 
acknowledged in the most grateful man- 


"To Mr. Lewis A. Eigenbrott 

Lawrence Methodist Episcopal Church 

The present beautiful Methodist Epis- 
copal Church at Lawrence is erected on 


a plain frame structure with a double 
pitch roof, supported by four large pil- 
lars. It was illuminated by candles. 
The church was rebuilt in 1866 at a cost 
of $8,000. The cornerstone was laid by 
the Rev. Edward G. Andrews, who later 
became Bishop Andrews. Shortly after 
this the parsonage was built on land 
opposite the church. Since then it has 
been modernized and reconstructed. 
The cemetery attached to the church 



contains the graves of many Rockaway 

The present church building was 
erected in 1907 during the Rev. John J. 
Forist's pastoracy. The old structure 
is now used as a Sunday School. The 
beautiful memorial windows of the 
church represent scenes taken from 
Hoffman's famous paintings depicting 
incidents in the Life of Christ. They 
include "Christ and the Doctors," 
"Christ Blessing the Little Children," 
"Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane" 
and "The Resurrection." 

Affiliated with the church is the Law- 
rence Chapter of the Epworth League, 
the Ladies' Union, the Women's Foreign 
Missionary Society and the Lincoln 
Military Band. 

The Sunday School is particularly 
well supported, the membership exceed- 
ing 400 children. 

Trinity Church, Hewlett 

The Protestant Episcopal parish of 
Trinity, Hewlett, was first known as 
Trinity Chapel, Rockaway, and was part 
of the ancient parish of St. George's 
Church, Hempstead, a patent and char- 
ter of which were granted by Kin.g 
George the Second, July 23, 1735. 

Occasional services were held at 
Rockaway prior to 1817 by the Reverend 
Seth Hart. In August of that year the 
Governor of the State, Daniel D. Tomp- 
kins, while visiting Far Rockaway, do- 
nated to the inhabitants, on petition of 
Benjamin Cornwell and others, a small 
building called the block-house for use 
as a place of worship. The Rev. Mr. 
Hart held services in this building 
every fourth Sunday afternoon. The 
Rev. Dr. Gilbert H. Sayers, Rector of 
Grace Church, Jamaica, also officiated 
occasionally. The exact location of the 
block-house is not now known. This 
arrangement continued until the need 
of a more convenient and befitting 
house for worship was generally felt. 
The question of erecting a Chapel, while 
often considered, did not result in any 
positive efforts to obtain one until Sep- 
tember, 1835, when a consultation of 
the friends of the church was held, 
and, at a subsequent meeting, it was 
resolved to build a Chapel. The Rev. 
Wm. M. Carmichael of St. George's 
Church, who presided at the meeting, 

and Clinton Pettit and George Hewlett, 
were appointed a Committee to take the 
necessary steps to carry this resolve 
into efi'ect by securing funds and a 
suitable plot of land on which to place 
a Chapel, "to be under the jurisdiction 
of the Vestry of St. George's Church, 
Hempstead." A plot of ground con- 
taining about three acres was given by 
Major Cornelius Van Wyck and his sis- 
ter. Miss Van Wyck. Another acre was 
purchased from the same parties, and 
on the third day of May, 1836, the 
corner-stone was laid by the Rt. Rev. 
B. T. Onderdonk, Bishop of the diocese. 
Donations of timber and stone were re- 
ceived; about $1,500 in cash was raised 
by subscriptions, and a gift of $500 


was made, on the application of the 
Committee, by the Corporation of Trin- 
ity Church, New York. These facts 
were duly reported to St. George's Ves- 
try; also that while the cost of the 
Chapel had been about $2,300, there 
was left an indebtedness of only about 
$90, which the Committee would imme- 
diately seek to obtain. They requested 
the Vestry to take the proper steps to 
have the building consecrated, by the 
name of "Trinity Chapel, Rockaway." 

The Chapel was consecrated by 
Bishop Onderdonk on Saturday, July 8, 
1837. The next day the Bishop admin- 
istered the rite of confirmation to a 
class of fifteen. The chapel and 
grounds continued to be the property 
of St. George's, Hempstead, until 1844. 

On the 12th day of December, 1843, 
at a meeting of the congregation of the 
Chapel, Clinton Pettit, George M. 
Hewlett and Peter T. Hewlett were ap- 



pointed a committee to obtain from the 
corporation of St. George's a separa- 
tion from that parish preparatory to 
its organization as a separate parish. 
This committee waited upon the Vestry, 
January 22, 1844. But the Rev. Dr. 
Carmichael having resigned the rector- 
ship and there being no rector, the 
Vestry deferred action until they were 
duly organized with a rector, and it 
was not until October 9, 1844, that the 
matter was disposed of. At that date, 
at a meeting of the Vestry, the Rev. 
Orlando Harriman, Jr., rector, in the 
chair, was passed the following: 

"Resolved, That the Corporation of 
St. George's Church, Hempstead, con- 
vey all their right, title and interest 
in Trinity Church, Rockaway, and the 
lands appertaining thereto, to the 
rectory and Vestry of said church, by 
deed of gift, to be held by them and 
their successors, for the purposes of an 
Episcopal (Church) and no other pur- 

"Resolved, That the rector and senior 
warden be a committee to prepare the 
deed and the rector be authorized to 
sign it and affix thereto the corporate 

Upon this favorable action of St. 
George's Vestry, a meeting of the con- 
gregation was held on February 14, 
1844, and the organization of Trinity 
Church, Rockaway, perfected. The fol- 
lowing persons were elected its first 
Vestry: Foster Nostrand and Clinton 
Pettit, wardens ; George Hewlett, Jacob 
Lawrence, John L. Morton, Aledger 
Hewlett, George M. Hewlett, Jacob 
Stringham, George R. Rhodes and Dr. 
Robert B. Baisely, vestrymen. 

Through the liberality of Joseph 
Hewlett a rectory was built on the 
church grounds in 1854 and in 187'j 
preparation for building a new and 
larger church was begun, the corner- 
stone being laid by the Bishop on July 
19, 1877. The present beautiful edifice, 
which marked great advance in archi- 
tectural style, was consecrated by 
Bishop Littlejohn on May 2, 1878. 

The chapel of St. John's was opened 
at Far Rockaway in 1860 during Rev. 
Samuel W. Sayres' rectorship and was 
later created a separate parish. 

The old Trinity church building has 
been converted into a Sunday school 
and lecture room. The congregation 

consists of about 130 families in Hew- 
lett and Woodmere and the present 
rector is the Reverend Arthur Lewis 

The parish officers are: Divine Hew- 
lett and Benjamin C. Vandewater, 
wardens; Clinton Locke, Stockton Buz- 
by, Henry 0. Chapman, Edward C. 
Smith, William H. E. Jay, Eugene P. 
Bicknell, Carleton Macy and Joseph S. 
Hewlett, vestrymen. Carleton Macy is 
also treasurer and Joseph S. Hewlett 

St. John's Church, Far Rockaway 

The Protestant Episcopal Church of 
St. John at Far Rockaway was first 
opened as a chapel or mission from 
Trinity Church, Hewlett, in 1860, by 
the Rev. Samuel W. Sayres, rector of 
that parish. It was opened to meet 
the wishes and convenience of the 
largely increasing population of Far 
Rockaway, who previously had to jour- 
ney to Hewlett to attend divine service. 

The opening of the new chapel was 
made possible through the generosity 
of Far Rockaway parishioners who sub- 
scribed funds to build the present 
church on land donated by Benjamin B. 
Mott. One of the most zealous workers 
was Mrs. F. H. Bolton, a sister of 
Augustus Hewlett of Rock Hall, who 
had for a considerable time previously 
conducted a Sunday School in her home 
on Jarvis Lane. 

The Far Rockaway chapel was con- 
secrated by Bishop Potter in Novem- 
ber, 1860, and was ministered to by the 
Rev. Samuel W. Sayres and grew stead- 
ily in numbers and faith. In 1882 St. 
John's was created a separate parish 
with the title "St. John's Church, Far 
Rockaway," and Mr. Sayres became its 
first rector, leaving Hewlett for that 
purpose. The present church building 
embodies the original structure, which 
has been added to at both ends. The 
chancel has been rebuilt and enlarged 
and a memorial window installed to 
honor the memory of the late George C. 

The parish house was erected in 1900 
for lectures and Sunday School, which 
latter is now attended by about 150 
pupils. The congregation of the church 
now numbers about 500 and is minis- 
tered to by the rector, the Reverend 



William A. Sparks, who was appointed 
in May, 1911. 

The mission of All Saints from St. 
John's Church was opened at a store 
on Central avenue, Lawrence, in 1904, 

school superintendent 

Mr. J. E. 


by the Reverend Henry Mesier, then 
rector, and regular Sunday services are 
held there, the congregation numbering 
about eighty persons and the Sunday 
School being attended by about fifty 

The parish officers of St. John's are 
Harold Herrick, clerk and warden; 
Daniel Whitford, warden ; Edward M. 
Bentley, Jonathan T. Lanman, Peter B. 
Olney, 0. S. Seymour, Albert Francke, 
Edward C. Lord, William S. Pettit and 
Thomas Williams, vestrymen. Edward 
M. Bentley is treasurer. 

St Andrew-by-the-Sea, Belle Harbor 

The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew- 
by-the-Sea at Belle Harbor is a mission 
from the Cathedral at Garden City, and 
was established in 190(5 when the 
church was erected at a cost of $8,000, 
on five lots donated by the West Rocka- 
way Land Company. 

Divine service is held every Sunday 
throughout the year, the Reverend R. F. 
Dufiield, the Archdeacon, officiating. A 
Sunday school service is also held regu- 
larly. The seating capacity of the 
church is about 150, and the Sunday 

St. Mary's Star-of-the-Sea. Far Rockaway 

PRIOR to the year 1847 Roman 
Catholics in Rockaway who wished 
to attend iMass had to make the 
jou)'ne>' to Jamaica, where the nearest 
church of that faith was then situated. 
The first Mass in Far Rockaway was 
celebrated at William Caffrey's Hotel in 
1847 by the Rev. Michael Curran, Jr., 
who, in 1838, had been sent by Bishop 
I'ubois from Astoria to found the 
Jamaica parish of St. Monica, Father 
Curran later on opened up several mis- 
sions, one of them being at Far Rock- 
away. His work was continued by his 
successors in the Jamaica pastorate, the 
Rev. John McGinnis in 1844 and Rev. 
Anthony Farley, Sr., in 1854. These 
clergy visited Far Rockaway and cele- 
brated Mass in various homes of their 
parishioners, and in a tent in the sum- 
mer time. In January, 1851, the in- 
creasing number of Catholics making 
Far Rockaway their summer home in- 


duced Andrew Brady to donate a plot of 
ground as a site for a church, which 
was built by local men, some of them 
contributing money and others helping 
in its construction. The building, which 
is shown in the accompanying illustra- 
tion, was located on ground adjoining 
the present St. Joseph's Convent on 
Central avenue, and was first reached 



from Broadway. It lay back from the 
road and attendants climbed over a 
"stile" to get there. Far Rockaway con- 
tinued to be a mission of .Jamaica, and 
Father Farley ministered to it until 
1868, when the Rev. Joseph Brunnemnn, 
0. F. M., was appointed as the first resi- 
dent pastor. He was followed in No- 
vember, 1872, by the Rev. M. J. Murphy, 
who caused the rectory to be built, 
which later was remodelled into the 
present convent for the Sisters of St. 
Joseph. In October, 1879, Rev. Henry 
J. Zimmer assumed charge, having been 
appointed by the Rt. Rev. John Lough- 
lin, D. D., to succeed Father Murphy, 

altar, artistic Stations of the Cross, and 
a beautiful oil painting over the altar, 
"The Star of the Sea," presented by 
John Kelly, all gifts of the loyal parish- 
ioners. Father Zimmer turned over the 
parish to his successor, the Rev. G. M. 
Flannerj', LL.D., eatirely free of debt, 
and with several thousands of dollars in 
the treasury. Dr. Flannery continued 
the good work during eight years. He 
improved the school building, beautified 
the church by decorating the sanctuar.y ; 
installed a large church bell, the gift 
of Edward Roche, and a new pipe or- 
gan; a beautiful brass and onyx sanc- 
tuary rail, a lectern and pulpit, the 



who had been sent to Brooklyn to build 
a church in the Greenpoint section. 
Father Zimmer continued as rector un- 
til the year 1896, when ill health forced 
him to resign. During his administra- 
tion an attractive new church and rec- 
tory were erected in 1884 on a more 
central site purchased for the purpose, 
and the old church was converted into a 
parochial school. When Father Zimmer 
gave up his charge he left what today 
is termed a "complete working plant" 
supplied with all essentials. The 
school, as a building, was rather a poor 
affair, but as to results, the success and 
present strong faith of its former pupils 
do Father Zimmer great credit. The 
church contains a handsome marble 

gifts of James Caffrey. In September, 
1904, Father Flannery was transferred 
to the pastorate of St. Paul's, Brooklyn, 
and the present incumbent, the Very 
Rev. H. F. Farrell, V.F., was sent by 
Bishop McDonnell to succeed him. Dean 
Farrell had been a member of the Pub- 
lic School Board of Education at West- 
bury, and later on its president, the 
first Roman Catholic priest to occupy 
such a position in the State of New 
York. This experience strengthened his 
conviction that an up-to-date parochial 
school is the most important feature in 
a successful parish. His first efforts 
were to raise funds to realize this need. 
Sensing considerable prejudice against 
the scheme, he began the publication of 



a Parish Monthly to create a sentiment 
favoring Catholic education. The little 
periodical, aided by pulpit talks, quietly 
but effectively did its work, and in the 
fall of 1908 work was begun on the new 
school, an acre of land on Broadway 
having been secured. The building, 
which is of Tudor Gothic design, is of 
brick and terra cotta and is known as 
the Lyceum. It contains twelve class- 
rooms, a completely equipped theatre, 
seating 800 persons, teachers' room, a 
library^ gymnasium and meeting-rooms. 
The entire cost, including land and 
equipment was one hundred and forty 
thousand dollars, of which one hundred 
thousand have been paid. The teaching 
staff includes four Sisters of St. Joseph, 
three brothers of the Sacred Heart, and 
four lay teachers. Drawing, vocal mu- 
sic, and physical culture are taught by 
specialists. There are now about four 
hundred children in attendance. 

During Dean Farrell's administration 
the entire church has been decorated, 
handsome English oak stalls and an 
organ have been placed in the sanc- 
tuary, and many beautiful gothic vest- 
ments have been added to the original 
collection. These improvements have 
been made possible largely through the 
generosity of Mr. F. N. Dowling, a 

The resident congregation of the Far 
Rockaway parish numbers between 
seventeen and eighteen hundred souls. 
In the summer time this number is 

In the spring of 1905 the Holy Name 
Society and the Blessed Virgin's Sodal- 
ity were established, and both have 
flouri.«hed. The former now numbers 
two hundred members, composed of men 
in all walks of life. A St. Vincent de 
Paul Conference was created in 1910. 

From St. Mary's the Italian church 
of Our Lady of Good Counsel at In- 
wood and the summer mission of St. 
Gertrude at Edgemere were founded by 
the present rector. 

The Presbyterian Church at Far Rockaway 

The first steps were taken by Presby- 
terians in Far Rockaway to band them- 
selves together on December 23rd, 1887. 
On that day a meeting was held at the 
home of Mrs. Mary D. Wells of White 
street. Far Rockaway, for the purpose 

of organizing and arranging for regu- 
lar prayer meetings. Temperance Hall 
on Mott street was engaged until May 
1st, 1888, for Sabbath services and 
weekly prayer meetings, and the first 
prayer meeting took place there on De- 
cember 29th, 1887. On January 15th 
following the first regular service with 
sermon was held and a Sunday School 
organized. The Presbytery of Nassau 
was petitioned for a charter, which was 
granted on January 30th. The same 
day the church was organized with 
thirty-nine charter members. The Board 
of Home Missions contributed $500 a 
year for support of a pastor, until June, 
1891, when that contribution ceased. 

In May, 1888, the congregation wor- 
shipped in the present Magistrate's 
Court Building on Central avenue. It 
was then the Public School. They prac- 
ticed their devotions there for the 
period of one year. On September 12th 


of the same year the cornerstone of a 
new church was laid at Central and 
Neilson avenues by the Rev. Dr. T. De- 
Witt Talmage. The new church was 
dedicated in June of the following year. 
The trustees were delighted in Octo- 
ber of 1908 to receive from Mrs. Mar- 
garet Olivia Sage, widow of the late 
Russell Sage, a donation of a new 
church site, where the present beautiful 
structure now stands, together with the 


sum of $250,000 in cash. Of this sum 
$150,000 was to be used "for the erec- 
tion of a suitable group of church 
buildings, and the remainder held as a 
permanent endowment fund, the income 
to be used for church purposes, but the 
principal to be kept intact under an 
appropriate deed of trust." 

The cornerstone of the new church 
was laid on December 12th, 1908. 
Seventeen months later, on May 11th, 
1910, the new Russell Sage Memorial 
Church was dedicated and the Presby- 
terians have held their services there 
ever since. The present minister is the 
Rev. Dr. -John Milton Thompson and his 
congregation numbers among its mem- 
bers many of Far Rockaway's leading 
business men and residents from In- 
wood, Lawrence, Cedarhurst and Wood- 
mere. The church has a Sunday School 
with about 250 scholars; Ladies' Aid 
Society; Home and Foreign Missionary 
Society, and branches of the Christian 
Endeavor, Westminster Guild, King's 
Daughters and Boy Scouts. 

Woodmere Methodist Episcopal Church 

The Methodist Episcopal Church at 
Woodmere is pleasantly located in the 
centre of the village facing Broadway 
and is a frame building with accommo- 
dation for about 200 worshippers. The 
church was established 46 years ago. 
The church property, with the adjoin- 
ing parsonage, is owned by the church 
body, represented by five trustees. 
There is also a Sunday School, a branch 
of the Epwoi'th League and Ladies' Aid 
Society. The Rev. Smith A. Sands is 
parson. The church trustees are F. D. 
Brower, G. H. Carman, Dallas Brower, 
Charles D. Combs, George D. Horton 
and Robert Graef. 

St. Joseph's (R. C), Hewlett 

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church 
at Hewlett is a small frame structure 
on Broadway, erected in the year 1874. 
The parishioners number about two 
hundred. Sunday School services are 
held in the church. The Rev. John F. 
Farrell officiates and resides in the par- 
ish house on Broadway. A building 
fund is being raised and it is fervently 
hoped that a large enough nucleus will 
be accumulated in the near future with 
which a modern church and school 
buildings may be erected on that site. 

The present church was considerably 
damaged by fire when the roof and 
tower were destroyed last year, but they 
have been thoroughly repaired since. 

The First Congregational Church 

The First Congregational Church at 
Rockaway Beach was founded in the 
year 1881 at the residence of the late 
Mrs. Fannie R. Holland, on what is now 
Holland Avenue, by a number of resi- 
dents who held weekly meetings for di- 
vine services. At that time there was 
no permanent preacher and addresses 
were made by visiting ministers. A 


meeting was held in the public school- 
house on December 29, 1885, when it 
was resolved to formally organize and 
join the Congregational Denomination. 
The members then numbered eleven. 

The charter members were John J. 
Jamieson, Mrs. Amelia Jamieson, Mrs. 
C. Ward, James R. Cruickshank, Mrs. 
Kate M. Cruickshank, Miss Sarah Belle 
Cruickshank, Mrs. Angeline Furlong, 
Mrs. Henrietta Fisk, Mrs. Josie Estelle 
Persch, Miss Louise Fisk and Miss 
Edith Ward. John J. Jamieson was 
moderator and the late Michael P. Hol- 
land was secretary. On February 22 
of the following year, 1886, the church 
was admitted to membership and at the 
end of 1887 work was commenced on a 
church building, a site for which was 
presented by Mrs. Fannie R. Holland. 



The building cost $4,000 and was dedi- 
cated on February 22, 1888. In 1899 the 
present site of the church at the Boule- 
vard and Academy Avenue was donated 
by Mr. and Mrs. John J. Jamieson and 
the church building was shortly after- 
wards moved there. The present pas- 
tor, Rev. John C. Green, chosen March 
26, 1896, devoted himself to his duties 
and during his ministry the church has 
made wonderful strides. The building 
has recently been considerably enlarged, 
the congregation now number about 500 
and the average Sunday school attend- 
ance is about 300. A handsome resi- 
dence for the Pastor is owned by the 
church and there is no debt on any of 
the buildings. 

The Ladies' Aid Society has been of 
inestimable value to the congregation. 
The membership of that society, under 
the leadership of Mrs. Frances F. Davis, 
now numbers about 150. 

St. Paul's (M. P.), Inwood 

The present Methodist Protestant 
Church of St. Paul, Inwood, was found- 
ed in 1879 at the home of Henry Wan- 
ser of Inwood, when and where the 
first Divine service was held. After 
religious services a meeting was held 
by the twenty-two members present, 
who then formed the local church body. 

The original twenty-two charter 
members were : David H. Merritt, 
Sarah M. Merritt, John H. Abrams, 
Samuel Wanser, Freeman C. Bowker, 
Frances Bowker, Samuel J. Horton, 
Henry Wanser, Sarah Wanser, Isaac 
Wanser, Henry Abrams, Hiram Abrams, 
Elizabeth Wanser, Smith Mott, Harriet 
Mott, Lucinda Sprague, Charles A. 
Wanser, Morris Hicks, Hope Hendrick- 
son, Adelia Abrams, Jarvis Hicks and 
Charles Jones. 

The first pastor was the Reverend H. 
S. Hull. 

At that time services were conducted 
in the various homes of the worship- 
pers, but in the fall of 1879 the first 
church building was erected at the 
corner of Lord and Redwood avenues 
and opened on December 12th, 1879. 

This building was used for a num- 
ber of years, during which the congre- 
gation grew steadily in numbers and in 
faith so that eventually the original 
accomodations were insufficient for the 
needs of the worshippers. Then it was 
that the old building was moved and 

the present handsome structure, with 
the old building as a nucleus, erected, 
with a seating capacity for about 600 

The growth of Inwood has necessi- 
tated more additions and improvements 
and a Sunday School accomodating 500 
children has been erected, adjoining 
the church, with a frontage to Lord 
avenue. The present Sunday School 
attendance is about 400 and the church 
congregation consists of 222 members 
and their families. 

The present parson is Rev. Roby F. 
Day. The church property, which in- 
cludes the parsonage, is valued today 
at $30,000. 

St. Rose of Lima, Rockaway Beach 

The parish of St. Rose of Lima, Rock- 
away Beach, was established on August 
30th, 1886, when Bishop Loughlin dedi- 
cated the first Roman Catholic church 
there to the service of God. 


Before the year 1884 Catholics at- 
tended mass at Far Rockaway. In that 
year Father Farley of St. Monica's 
Church, Jamaica, celebrated mass at 
various places at the beach, first at 
Datz's Hotel, then at Curley's Hotel, 
next at the old schoolhouse. Residents 
were anxious to have a local church 
and the first contribution of $150 
towards a building fund was donated by 
Seraphina Magliola. This was quickly 



followed by other amounts, and suf- 
ficient money was raised to buy two 
lots on North Fairview Avenue and 
build the first church. 

The first resident pastor, in 1886, was 
the Rev. E. J. Connell, who caused the 
rectory to be built. He was succeeded 
by the Rev. Thomas F. Horan as acting 
pastor until the arrival of the Rev. 


Thomas J. McCaffrey, who continued 
the improvement of the church prop- 
erty, secured additional ground, and his 
death on September 9, 1900, was sin- 
cerely mourned. 

The next pastor was the Rev. Henry 
F. Murray, now pastor of St. Mary's, 
Bensonhurst. The increase of the Cath- 

olic population during the first six years 
of his pastorate was so great that a new 
church was an imperative necessity. 
The cornerstone was laid July 1, 1906, 
and Bishop McDonnell pontificated at 
the dedicatory services September 27, 
1907. It is a magnificent, fireproof build- 
ing of brick, stone and steel, with a 
seating capacity of over a thousand, and 
with three marble altars, a marble altar 
rail, marble statuary and all other ac- 
cessories, all gifts from parishioners. 

St. Rose of Lima is the mother church 
of the Seaside church of St. Camillius, 
the mission of St. Virgilius at Broad 
Channel, and St. Francis de Sales' 
Church at Rockaway Park, to whose 
building St. Rose's congregation con- 
tributed $1,100. 

On Father Murray's transfer to the 
city he was succeeded by the Rev. James 
J. Bennett, the present pastor. 

St. Camillius, Seaside 

The Roman Catholic Church of St. 
Camillius de Lellis was established as 
a mission from St. Rose of Lima Church, 
Rockaway Beach, by Rev. Henry F. Mur- 
ray in 1909. In January, 1912, Rev. 
Joseph P. Brady was appointed the first 
resident pastor and St. Camillius was 
established as a separate parish. Father 
Brady is still the present rector. 




St. Francis de Sales, Belle Harbor 

The parish of St. Francis de Sales, 
Belle Harbor, which includes Belle Har- 
bor, Rockaway Park and Neponsit, was 
formerly a mission attended from Ham- 
mels, Rockaway Beach, and in July, 
1906, this newly developed residential 
section was organized into an inde- 
pendent parish under the Rev. Francis 
J. McMurray as iirst pastor. During 
the first year he celebrated Mass in the 
g-ymnasium of St. Malachy's Home, but 
Father McMurray soon secured fifteen 
lots desirably located in Belle Harbor, 
five of which were donated by the West 
Rockaway Land Company. Ground was 
broken for the church and rectory on 
December 8, and the cornerstone of the 
new church was laid by Vicar General 
McNamara on Sunday, May 19, 1907. 
The Very Rev. Dean Farrell of Far 
Rockaway preached the sermon. 

Work was pushed so rapidly that the 
church was ready for dedication Sun- 
day, July 21, when the Rt. Rev. Bishop 
officiated, the Rt. Rev. Chancellor Mun- 
delein, now archbishop of Chicago, 
being celebrant of the Mass, assisted 
by the Rev. Henry F. Murray as deacon 
and the Rev. John J. O'Brien of New 
York as sub-deacon. The preacher on 
the occasion was the Very Rev. Mons. 
James J. Coan. 

As the number of the parishioners 
rapidly increased they desired a parish 
school, and as a nucleus for a school 
fund Robert J. Guddihy, Edward Wren 
and Charles Troutman each contributed 
?500. Seven additional lots adjoining 
the church property were secured at a 
cost of $9,900, and ground was broken 
for a school and convent in March, 1913, 
and they were ready for occupancy and 
were dedicated by the Right Reverend 
Bishop on October 28, the same year. 
The school is a fireproof structure and 
is thoroughly equipped and in charge 
of sixteen Sisters of St. Joseph. It has 
been most successful during its brief 
existence and reflects credit on both 
teachers and pupils. 

Father McMurray was succeeded by 
Rev. James M. Foran, the present pas- 
tor, in 1916. 

Our Lady of Good Counsel (R. C), Inwood 

On Sunday, June 11th, 1905, the Rev. 
Herbert F. Farrell, rector of St. Mary 
Star-of-the-Sea, Far Rockaway, an- 

nounced that he had secured a store 
in the Schoolbred Building, Inwood, 
where he proposed to start a Sunday 
School and Settlement for the Italian 
children of that section. The Sunday 
School was opened that day and Cate- 
chism was taught every Sunday there- 
after and sewing every Saturday morn- 
ing for about two years. The Settle- 
ment was then transferred to a house 
owned by Michael O'Rourke, more cen- 
trally located, where the work contin- 
ued until 1909. In that year Father 
Farrell purchased six lots on Henry 
and Madison streets, and erected a 
Chapel thereon, using as far as possible 
all the brick and lumber taken from 
the first Roman Catholic Church in Far 
Rockaway. The first mass was cele- 
brated in the Chapel on Christmas 
morning, the celebrant being Rev. Luigi 
Salamoni, S. M. M., who was intrusted 
with the care of the mission until the 
following July. 

On April 26, 1910, the Chapel was 
dedicated by Rt. Rev. Charles E. Mc- 
Donnell, D. D., under the title of Our 
Mother of Good Counsel. There being 
no parochial residence for the priest, 
the Rev. Luigi Salamoni and Rev. John 
J. Mahon each resided with Michael 
O'Rourke until the present rectory was 
secured in September, 1911. 

On July 28, 1910, the present rector, 
John J. Mahon, was appointed first 
rector of the newly formed parish. 

The property consisted of six lots, 
on Henry and Madison streets, with a 
small Chapel erected thereon at a cost 
of $3,000. A mortgage for same had 
been secured but was liquidated during 
the year 1912. 

In the spring of 1911, another mort- 
gage of $6,000 was secured to pay for 
certain lots, bounded by Wanser avenue 
and Henry and Madison streets, pur- 
chased from the Horton Estate on 
March 30, 1911, for the sum of $7,500. 
This mortgage was paid off in 1912. In 
the meantime, Edward J. Loughman of 
Lawrence presented the parish with a 
furnished rectory valued at $10,000. 
The building had to be removed from 
Central and Lawrence avenues to its 
present site, and the moving of this big 
house occasioned considerable interest 
and admiration. A small portion of the 
rear, used as a laundry, had to be left 
behind, owing to the narrowness of 
the streets. Up to this time, the par- 



ishioners had no special place to hold 
meetings, sociables, lectures, etc., and 
a decided want was happily gratified 
when the spacious and beautiful resi- 
dence was set on its new foundation 
and thoroughly renovated. Thereafter 
it served not merely as a parochial 
residence, but also as an assemblage 
place for the promotion of various 
church activities. 

Already the Inwood parish had 
grown to such proportions that the 
little Chapel on Henry street became 
entirely inadequate to accomodate the 
people. During the winter of 1914, 
steps were taken to prepare for the 
erection of a new church building. The 
digging for the foundation was done 
almost entirely gratis by loyal parish- 
ioners. The actual work of construc- 
tion was begun early in August, and 
completed shortly before Christmas, at 
a cost of $24,000. 

The installing of altars, pews, stained 
glass windows, organ and other fur- 
nishings remained to be done and it 
was deemed advisable to await the ar- 
rival of spring before dedicating the 
church to Divine service. 

In compliance with the bishop's man- 
date, the parish was incorporated 
April 8, 1914, under the title of "The 
Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady 
of Good Counsel, at Inwood, in the 
County of Nassau, in the State of New 
York," with the following officers: Rt. 
Rev. Charles E. McDonnell, D. D., 
president; Rt. Rev. Mgr. George Kau- 
pert, V. G., vice-president; Rev. John 
J. Mahon, treasurer and rector; Edward 
J. Loughman, and Timothy D. Mulcahy, 
lay trustees. 

The building up of the spirit in the 
lives of the people during the past five 
years has been the chief work in process 
since the inception of the parish. Diffi- 
culties untold, privations, discourage- 
ments and even hostility were met. On 
the other hand, there will be found few 
places where a larger amount of good- 
will, co-operation, zeal and sacrifice 
have been displayed, although .he peo- 
ple of the locality are not favored with 
a superfluity of worldly possessions and 
the population of Inwood consists in 
the majority of Albano-Italians, who 
number at least 1,000 of the present 
congregation of 1,800 Roman Catholics. 
There were originally only fifteen fam- 
ilies of American origin. 

The church settlement school for 
Italian children at St. George's place 
is doing excellent work under the su- 
perintendency of Miss Irene Slachta. 
The usual church societies have strong 
branches at Good Counsel Church, and 
have done much to live down and over- 
come the former unenviable reputation 
possessed by the village. 

St. Joachim's, Cedarhurst 

The first church built in Cedarhurst 
was in 1899, when St. Joachim's Roman 
Catholic Church was erected and conse- 
crated. The building stood on the site 
of the present structure and was at first 
a branch of St. Joseph's parish church 
at Hewlett. Cedarhurst was afterwards 
made a separate parish. During a vio- 
lent thunderstorm about ten years ago 
the church was struck by a bolt and 
caught fire. It was totally destroyed 
and the parish house adjoining was 
considerably damaged. The present 
handsome structure was erected a few 
months later, the funds having been 
raised by parishioners. The present 
church seats six hundred persons. The 
rector is the Rev. Henry C. Jordan. 

The Cedarhurst parochial school was 
erected in 1916 on land opposite the 
church. It is a fine looking terra cotta 
brick and stone structure, three stories 
high, and is under the direction of the 
Sisters of St. Joseph, four of whom, 
aided by two lay sisters, instruct the 
two hundred pupils daily. 

German Evangelical Church 

The First German Evangelical Church 
at Far Rockaway was organized in that 
village on January 24th, 1909, by a 
small congregation, who worshipped at 
Hope Mission on Mott avenue. The 
first pastor, the Rev. Paul A. Hopf, was 
elected on February 21st of the same 
year. Shortly afterwards a small chapel 
v/as built on Carlton and John streets. 
Far Rockaway, where services were 
held until June, 1910. In that year the 
Presbyterian Church on Central avenue, 
vacated by that body when the Russell 
Sage Memorial was built, was pur- 
chased. The present pastor. Rev. John 
G. Bosshart, preaches to a large and 
devout flock. The Ladies' Aid Society 
has been especially helpful in the good 
work of the church, which also main- 
tains a Sunday School. 


Christian Science 

A society supporting the practice and 
teachings of Christian Science was or- 
ganized at Far Rockaway in August, 
1915, and up to April 1st, 1916, held 
regular services at the Christian Sci- 
ence rooms in the Willett Building on 
Sunday mornings and Wednesday even- 
ings. Since that date services have 
been held at the Masonic Temple. The 
membership is steadily increasing and 
the body, which is now known as the 
First Church of Christ, Scientist, has 
numerous and enthusiastic workers and 
worshippers, among whom are prom- 
inent residents of every part of the 

then held in private homes, first at 
Joseph Gottlieb's, then at Lechtman's 
laundry building and later at I. Frank- 
lin's house. After that the basement 
of the church was made into the pres- 
ent children's school. There are now 
eighty members and their families id 
the congregation, which is led by Rabbi 
H. Germansky. 

The officers of the congregation ara 
S. Weisskopf, president; H. Weiner, 
vice-president; Emil Rothschild, treas- 
urer; Arnold Wetzler, recording secre- 
tary, and Henry Shalin, financial sec- 

The trustees for 1918 are: Dr. 
E. L. Friedman, M. Berkowitz and 
Alex. Wiener. 

Beth Israel, Rockaway Beach 

The Temple Israel now at Fairvie^'.' 
avenue, Hammel, Rockaway Beach, was 
organized as the congregation Beth 
Israel on September 15th, 1896. Up to 
the year 1893 Hebrews residing at 
Rockaway Beach went to Brooklyn or 
New York to attend religious services, 
but in the fall of that year, at the sug- 
gestion of Joseph Gottlieb, a number 
of local Hebrews arranged to hold their 
religious services together at Hammel. 
Through the kindness of Max Lewy, 
one of the prime movers, a dining room 
of his hotel was utilized by the small 
band of worshippers, some of whom at 
times conducted the services which at 
other times were ministered to by visit- 
ing Cantors. Matters progressed in 
that manner for about three years, 
when Mr. Lewy moved to the Atlantic 
Park Hotel and provided room for the 
worshippers there. 

It was at that place that the congre- 
gation was organized with ten mem- 
bers, as follows: Joseph Gottlieb, Max 
Lewy, Alex Weiner, Max Abrahams, S. 
Weisskopf, Jacob Kohn, Benjamin B. 
Lechtman, Bernard Edelstein, Simon 
Simon and Morris Langensen. 

From that time the congregation 
grew steadily and the building of a 
Synagogue was projected. Lots were 
acquired on Fairview avenue and a 
cornerstone laid in 1900. A public sub- 
scription list was opened and freely 
contributed to by local Jews and Gen- 
tiles, and the present structure was 
built and opened with religious serv- 
ices on Sunday, June 24, 1900. Chil- 
dren's religious school services were 

Derech Emunoh, Arverne 

The Hebrew Synagogue at Arverne, 
known as the Congregation Derech 
Emunoh, or the Road to Faith, was 
erected at the corner of Ocean and 
Vernam Avenues in the year 1905 A. D. 
(5666 Hebrew style). The structure, 
which is of handsome and lofty design, 
cost $36,000 to build and has seating 
capacity for about 600 persons. The 
Rabbi is Rev. Hyman Meyer of Arverne 
and the teaching of the orthodox faith 
is extended to a religious school also 
conducted by the congregation. 

The cornerstone has just been laid for 
the Hyman Memorial adjoining the 
synagogue, with a frontage of Vernam 
Avenue. The memorial will be a social 
centre as well as religious school and 
is to be erected in memory of the late 
Samuel I. Hyman of Arverne, at an 
estimated cost of $25,000. There is no 
debt on any of the property of the con- 
gregation, the officers of which are: 
Samuel I. Unterberg, president; Samuel 
Bayer, vice-president; Elias Surut, 
treasurer, and Victor Friedman, hon- 
orary secretary. 

Temple Israel, Far Rockaway 

The Temple Israel, Far Rockaway, 
was organized as a Reform Hebrew 
synagogue about ten years ago, and has 
made great strides since. The first 
meeting place of a handful of devout 
Jews was in the Horton Building. When 
the Masonic Temple was erected a move 
was made there. The cornerstone of 
the present handsome temple, at the 



corner of State and Roanoke Streets, 
was laid in 1908, and tlie building, 
which has a seating capacity for about 
600 persons, was completed and dedi- 
cated in July, 1911. The congregation 
now consists of 183 members and their 
families, and a religious school, with 
227 pupils, is conducted in connection 
with the synagogue. 

The Women's Auxiliary is of great 
value and assistance in the conduct of 
the affairs of the congregation, and its 
members have done splendid work in 
the establishment of the Children's 
Haven at Hollywood Avenue, Far Rock- 

Rabbi Isaac Landman is the present 
rabbi and the officers of the congrega- 
tion are: Joseph Fried, president; Wil- 
liam Rosenbaum and Benjamin Beit, 
vice-presidents; Saul L. Migel, treas- 
urer, and E. Louis Jacobs, secretary. In 
addition to the foregoing gentlemen, 
Philip N. Aronson, Adolph Elsas, S. J. 
Steiner and David Goodman are trus- 

Congregation Shaaray Tefila 

The growth of the orthodox Jewish 
Synagogue called Congregation Shaaray 
Tefila, Gates of Prayer, at Far Rock- 
away, has been remarkably rapid and is 
evidenced in various fields of activity 
and advancement. 

The Synagogue was formed in 1910 
by ten men, who first held services in 
the hall of the Horton Building (now 
Teddy's). The first board of officers 
consisted of Maurice Cohen, president; 
I. Lidz, vice-president; Max Rubin, 
treasurer; Cecil B. Ruskay, secretary, 
and A. Seidt, Maurice Cohen, Max 
Rubin, I. Lidz and H. Lesser, trustees. 

A move was made to the Masonic 
Temple in 1913, where services were 

held and in which a rapidly increasing 
congregation took part. 

In 1911 the Congregation requested 
Dr. Benjamin A. Lichter, of Pittsburgh, 
to become their Rabbi, and in February, 
1912, Rabbi Lichter accepted and be- 
came their minister. The Congregation 


was incorporated on May 24th, 1914, 
and at once set about providing funds 
to build the present handsome and com- 
modious building on Central avenue, 
Vifhich has seating capacity for 500 per- 
sons, and was completed, dedicated and 
occupied in September, 1915. The struc- 
ture and site cost $47,000 and is owned 
by the Congregation. The present of- 
ficers are: I. Lidz, president; Max 
Rubin, vice-president and treasurer; 
Cecil B. Ruskay, secretary; A. Seidt, 
treasurer of building fund; Benjamin 
C. Shapiro, financial secretary, and Max 
Rubin, Max Goodman, J. Stone, A. Seidt, 
H. L. Simmons, Julius Lichter, I. Lidz 
and I. Ginsberg. 

The Congregation now numbers up- 
wards of 350 persons and its work is 
greatly assisted by the Sisterhood Gates 
of Prayer and the Junior Congregation. 


THE burying grounds in the Rock- 
aways are not numerous. The 
cemeteries at Lawrence and Hew- 
lett are the last resting places of many 
whose names are recorded by past 
events of local importance, and of many 
whose descendants and relatives are liv- 
ing here and actively doing their duty 
in that state of life unto which it has 
pleased God to call them. 

The old Cornell burying ground in 
Far Rockaway is of especial interest. 
It contains the bodies of most of the 
first white settlers here. The plot is 
peacefully secluded and lies between 
the rear of the cable building on Grand- 
view avenue and a residence fronting 
Greenwood avenue, 100 feet from Rue 
de St. Felix. The size of the plot is 75 
feet by 70 feet. It is railed in on all 



sides by a good iron rail fence and 
sheltered and shaded by well grown 
and ancient pine trees. Many of the 
Cornells mentioned in this book lie 
buried in this half-hidden God's acre, 
the existence of which is unknown to 
many Rockaway residents who regu- 
larly pass in the neighborhood. 

Several of the old stones still stand 
and bear record of lives that are passed, 
but many more, which had become un- 
decipherable through age, were buried 
in the ground some years ago when the 
fence was erected. 

Inscriptions on some of the stones 
still standing state the following facts : 

To the Memory 
His weeping widow erects this monu- 
ment of her affection and his age. 
Born the 28th of July 1703. 
Died the 24th of March 1764. 
What he was to the Poor and to the 
Public the last of which he served 
27 years in the General Assem- 
bly of New York, is en- 
graved on tablets more 
enduring than 
this stone. 

'Here lyes the body of Abigail Cornell 
who departed this life April 20th day 
1762 in the 57 year of her age." 

■'Jane McPherson, Died August 5th, 
1816, Age 33 years." 

"Benjamin Cornell, died June 8th, 1821. 
Age 71 years 25 days." 

"Rebecca H. Lockwood, wife of Dr. 

Ebenezer Lockwood, only child of 

Benjamin and Abigail H. Cornell. 

Died October 20th, 1807. 

Age 23 years 6 inonths." 

"Ebenezer Lockwood, Died July 5th, 
1813. Age 40 years, 1 month, 2 days." 

"Henry Foster and Gloriana, his wife. 

He was born July 8, 1718, 

Died June 1768. 

She was born August 26th, 1721. 

Died April 25, 1797. 

Numerous skeletons have been dug up 
at various times and places in the pen- 
insula, and some of them have been 

adjudged to be those of Indians, notably 
those found in Bayswater section and 
near Lawrence Station about thirty 
years ago. 

There is a small burying ground on 
West Broadway at Cedarhurst, near 
Madison avenue, where several head- 
stones bearing the name of Mott are 
within a few feet of the sidewalk and 
entirely unprotected. 

The Victims of the Mexico and Bristol 

The cemetery of the old "sandhole" 
church at Lynbrook, as the Methodist 
church which once stood there was 
called, contains the bodies of 120 of the 
victims of two emigrant ships, the 
"Mexico" and the "Bristol," which were 
wrecked on the Rockaway shores eighty 
years ago. 

The bodies are buried in one large 
grave, called the mariners' plot, 35 feet 
by 161 feet, and lie side by side in two 
long rows. Mr. Wright of Woodmere, 
now 90 years old, told the writer he was 
present at the interment of 43 of the 
victims of the Mexico, whose bodies 
were interred a few weeks after those 
of the 77 victims of the Bristol, and he 
vividly recalls the memory of the large 
number of pine box coffins, the crowds 
of people and the eloquent funeral ser- 

The plot is marked by a marble monu- 
ment about twelve feet high and four 
feet square at the base, which bears 
inscriptions telling the sad story. The 
grave and monument were partly paid 
for by money found in belts on some of 
the unclaimed bodies, and partly by do- 
nations. The inscriptions read as fol- 

On the front side is the following: 
"To the memory of 77 persons, chiefly 
emigrants from England and Ireland, 
being the only remains of 100 souls, 
composing the passengers and crew of 
the American ship 'Bristol,' Captain 
McKeown, wrecked on Far Rockaway 
beach November 21st, 1836." 

On the second side: "To commemo- 
rate the melancholy fate of the unfor- 
tunate sufferers belonging to the 'Bris- 
tol' and 'Mexico' this monument was 
erected; partly by the money found 
upon their persons and partly by the 
contributions of the benevolent and hu- 
mane in the county of Queens." 



On the third side: "To the memory 
of sixty-two persons, chiefly emigrants 
from England and Ireland; being the 
only remains of 115 souls forming the 
passengers and crew of the American 
Barque 'Mexico,' Captain Winston, 
wrecked on Hempstead beach January 
2nd, 1837. 

"In this grave, from the wide ocean, 
doth sleep 

The bodies of those that had crossed 
the deep ; 

And instead of being landed safe, on 
the shore. 

In a cold frosty night they all were no 
On the fourth side: "All the bodies 
of the 'Bristol' and 'Mexico' recovered 
from the ocean and decently interred 
near this spot; were followed to the 
grave by a large concourse of citizens 
and strangers, and an address delivered 
suited to the occasion from these 
words : 'Lord save us, we perish.' 

The writer has gathered some details 
of the wrecks from various sources pub- 
lished at that time or shortly after- 
wards. The frozen bodies washed up 
from the wreck of the Bristol were tem- 
porarily laid, as they were recovered, 
at the plot of ground corner of Broad- 
way and Cornaga avenue, Far Rock- 
away, where Wynn's stables now are. 
Some were identified and claimed by 
relatives or friends and the others later 
buried with proper respect and the 
funeral cortege was followed by nearly 
all the residents to Lynbrook. 

The Bristol was an American ship, 
nearly new, manned by a crew of six- 
teen officers and men, and having one 
hundred passengers, about ninety of 
whom were in the steerage. She sailed 
from Liverpool October 16th, 1836, and 
arrived off Sandy Hook November 20th. 
Not succeeding in obtaining a pilot she 
was driven on the 21st by a violent gale. 

upon the Rockaway shoals, a few miles 
west of the Marine Pavilion, and a half 
mile from the shore. The roughness 
of the sea by the continuance of the 
gale rendered it impracticable to afford 
any assistance from the shore until 
after midnight of the 22nd, when a boat 
from the shore succeeded at imminent 
peril in rescuing thirty-two individuals 
from a watery grave. The other eighty- 
four, three of whom were cabin passen- 
gers and the others emigrants and sea- 
men, perished. 

The Mexico was an American barque 
of 300 tons, manned by a crew of twelve 
men, including officers, and having on 
board 112 steerage passengers, as as- 
certained from her papers certified by 
the collector at Liverpool. She left 
Liverpool October 23rd, 1836, only a 
week after the Bristol, but did not ar- 
rive off the Hook until the 31st of De- 
cember. Not being able to find a pilot 
she stood off to sea; but on returning to 
the Hook on the 2nd of January, 1837, 
and attempting to enter the bay, she 
was driven on Hempstead beach, about 
ten miles east of the spot where the 
Bristol had been wrecked. The weather 
being extremely cold, and the waves 
constantly breaking over the ship, most 
of the passengers and crew perished 
in the succeeding night. On the follow- 
ing day a boat, in charge of Raynor 
Smith, set out from the shore and suc- 
ceeded in reaching the vessel and 
rescued the captain, four passengers 
and three of the crew, who dropped 
from the bowsprit. The boat was un- 
able to return and the few survivors 
M'ere necessarily left to their fate. The 
whole number that perished was 116. 
On the 11th of January forty-three 
bodies were buried at the place where 
the monument is erected and several 
others that were afterwards recovered. 
A few of the bodies were recognized 
and taken for burial elsewhere. 


JAMAICA BAY, which washes the 
northern shore of the penisula, is 
thickly interspersed with islands. 
Most of these islands are simply has- 
socks or sand bars, completely sub- 
merged at high tide; some are over- 
flowed by the highest tides only, and a 

few are composed of dry land. These 
include Broad Channel, The Raunt, 
Goose Creek and Barren Island. The 
sand bars are destitute of vegetation, 
and those which are at times overflowed 
produce a coarse grass called sedge. 
The Bay is navigable through Broad 



and Beach Channels for vessels draw- 
ing six or eight feet of water, and 
through many of the other channels 
and in its northern portion at high tide 
by vessels of lighter draft. It is crossed 
near its middle by the Long Island 
Railroad trestle, which is built on piles 
across it, and has drawbridges over 
two of the principal channels. 

This bay has always been a place of 
resort for procuring clams, crabs and 
oysters. The first recorded action of 
the town prohibiting the indiscriminate 
taking of these shell fish was in 1763. In 
July of that year the following notice 
was given : 

"Whereas divers persons, without any 
right or license to do so, have of late, 
with sloops, boats and other craft, pre- 
sumed to come into Jamaica Bay and 
taken, destroyed and carried away quan- 
tities of clams, mussels and other fish, 
to the great damage of said town, this 
is to give warning to all persons who 
have no right or liberty that they do 
forbear to commit any such trespass in 
the bay for the future; otherwise they 
will be prosecuted at law for the same 
by Thomas Cornell, Jr., and Waters 
Smith. By order of the town." 

The following is found in the Colonial 
manuscripts : 

"May 31st, 1704, Tunis Johnson, 
Derick Johnson, Amberman and Derick 
Longstreet, fishermen, of Flatlands, 
were brought prisoners to Jamaica for 
trespassing in Jamaica Bay by fishing 
with nets without consent of the free- 
holders. They were let off: on their giv- 
ing a bond for 100 pounds not to do so 
again. But in May, 1707, Governor 
Cornbury ordered them to attend him 
at Rockaway Beach, with their boats 
and nets, and bid them, when there, to 
fish and draw their nets. After Corn- 
bury was out of office (May, 1709) the 
people of Jamaica sued the fishermen 
for the penalty of their bond which 
they had forfeited. The prisoners peti- 
tioned for a release from their bond." 

In 1791 it was "voted that all persons 
be precluded from coming with boats 
and pettiaugers in the bay of this town 
for the purpose of getting clams or 
oysters, without paying to the coinmis- 
sioners authorized to receive the same 
the sum of one shilling for every thou- 
sand so taken as aforesaid, on pain of 
paying 40 shillings for each ofi^ence." 
This regulation was re-enacted several 

times in subsequent years. At the same 
town meeting it was "voted that no per- 
son or persons other than inhabitants 
of the township and paying taxes with- 
in the same, presume to cut any sedge 
on the marshes in the ba}' of this town- 
ship on the penalty of 40 shillings for 
each ofi'ence." 

In 1863 the trustees of the town, 
the consideration of six cents, granted 
to D. H. Waters "the privilege of plant- 
ing oysters under the waters of Jamaica 
Bay to the extent of one hundred square 
yards, under said waters known as Hell 
Gate Marsh." 

At the annual town meeting in 1869 
the exclusion of non-residents from the 
fisheries in the bay was recommended, 
and at the town meeting in 1871 the 
trustees were instructed to remove all 
stakes or other obstructions illegally 
standing in the waters of the bay, or 
in the marshes thereof. 

In 1871 an act was passed by the 
Legislature authorizing the board of 
auditors to lease to actual residents of 
the town, on certain prescribed condi- 
tions, portions of land under the waters 
of the bay for planting oysters, and 
prescribing penalties for any trespass 
on the lands so leased. 

In 1875 a vote on the question of 
these leases was taken by ballot, re- 
sulting as follows: "For granting ex- 
clusive privileges in the waters of 
Jamaica Bay, 167; against the same, 
808." Notwithstanding this emphatic 
protest of the people, lessees are still in 
the enjoyment of the rights they ac- 
quired under the law. 

The following appeared in the New 
York Mercury of January 27th, 1754: 
"Last Monday morning, the weather be- 
ing uncommonly pleasant and warm, 
many people were induced to go into 
Jamaica Bay for oysters and clams, etc.; 
but about noon such a severe gale of 
wind arose from the northwest, with a 
sudden change from warm to cold, as 
was scarce ever known here, when all 
the small craft put off to gain the shore 
in the best manner they could. A num- 
ber of canoes and pettyaugers came on 
shore at a point of meadow south of 
Jamaica, and with the utmost difficulty 
the people belonging to them traveled 
up to a house two miles from the place 
of landing. All got safe to the house, 
though much benumbed and several 
speechless, except Daniel Smith, a 



young man, who perished on the mead- 
ows a half mile from the house, his 
companions not being able to help him 
any further, having dragged him a mile 
after he lost the use of his feet. The 
same day the crews of two canoes in 
Jamaica Bay, consisting of eight people 
from Newtown, not returning at nigtit 
v,ere sought for next day, but the ice 
being so thick it was impracticable to 
go far in quest of them until Friday, 
when one canoe was found driven on 
an island of sedge, in which were found 
the bodies of Samuel Leveridge, Amos 
Roberts, William Salier, and Thomas 
Morrel, alias Salier, all frozen to death, 
the steerman sitting in an erect posture 
at the helm. The three former were 
married men, leaving distressed fam- 
ilies behind them. Today another canoe 
was seen but could not be come at by 
leason of the ice, in which, it is sup- 
posed, are the other four missing per- 
sons, one white man and four valuable 

At the present day there are more 
anglers at leisure than fishermen for 
profit on the bay. While several hun- 
dreds of men gain a livelihood by the 
lure of the rod and line, the net, and 
breeding oysters and /digging clams, 
many thousands who come and go hire 

boats from one or other of the innumer- 
able docks along the bay, and so pass 
the time. In the summer months the 
bay is dotted with boats of all sizes; the 
old flat-bottomed rowing punt, the 
swiftly flying cat boat, the small, noisy 
single engine motor boat, the luxurious 
modern motor launch fitted with cabin 
and rest rooms, houseboats, heavy 
rigged sailing dories, motor ferry boats 
and large excursion steamers accomm^o- 
dating several thousand passengers. 

The villages of Broad Channel, The 
Raunt and Goose Creek are now popu- 
lar and thriving villages and well- 
known summer resorts, accommodating 
many thousands of persons in the sum- 
mer time. There is also a considerable 
permanent year-round population. 
Thousands of pleasure boats are owned 
and rented out from these three resorts 
alcne and the excellent fishing avail- 
able attracts an ever increasing num- 
ber of enthusiastic followers of Isaac 
Walton, who meditate on the philosophy 
of life and other and lighter themes, 
while awaiting the not infrequent tugs 
which give promise of the landing of 
scaly victims. Many residents eke out 
a livelihood by digging for clams and 
oysters and afterwards vending them. 






THE villages of Hewlett and Wood- 
mere at the north-easterly end of 
the Rockaway peninsula have inter- 
ests in common and might well form a 
single village. 

Each possesses a separate post office 
and railroad station — these being the 
only signs of civic individuality. The 
stores of both villages form a continu- 
ous line in Broadway, the main street, 
and the Tov/n of Hempstead, within 
whose corporate limits the villages are, 
assesses the villages together as one 
school district. 

The writer has been unable to discover 
any mention of Hewlett as a community 
before the advent of the railroad in 
1869. Up to that time and for many 
years before a few farmers lived there 
and the entire section down to the ocean 
was known as Rockaway. For several 
generations several farms in the locality 
had been owned by persons bearing the 
name of Hewlett. The earliest mention 
of Hewlett in the Rockaways is on the 
records of the Town of Hempstead which 
tells us that on January 2, 1718, George 
Heulitt of Hemstead, a husbandman con- 
veyed to his grandson John Heulitt a 
hous and land containing 50 acars and 
other meadow and wood land on west side 
of Rockaway, known by the name 
"George Heulitt's poynt." 

A church, an inn and a country store 
existed, but residents were stirred from 
their lives of peace and quiet when steam 
trains put in an appearance. A stop was 
made and the station received the name 
of Hewlett, after the leading family. 

About the year 1893, for some unex- 
plained reason, the name of the station 
was changed to Fenhurst. Residents ob- 
jected to this name as being likely to 
give visitors a poor impression of the 
place and the name was again changed 
to Hewlett. On June 21, 1897, Augustus 
J. Hewlett gave to the Long Island Rail- 
road Company "a strip of land 31 feet 

wide running from the present station to 
Trinity Churchyard, on condition that 
the station shall be for ever named and 
known as Hewlett." 

The history of the picturesque Trinity 
Church, and that of all other churches 
in the Rockaways, will be found in de- 
tail in the special chapter in this book 
devoted to the history of local churches. 

There is a large private school for girls 
and many fine residences in the village 
of Hewlett and one of the best known 
steeplechase courses in the country, 
which every year attracts leaders in the 
world of sport and fashion. The course 
is known as Hewlett Bay Park and owes 
its existence to the efforts of Carleton 
Macy who conceived the idea of laying 
out the present beautiful course. This 
gentleman acquired large holdings to the 
east of the main road and is mainly re- 
sponsible for the high class and pictur- 
esque development which has taken place. 

The estimated population of Hewlett is 
1,000 souls. 

Considerable local pride is taken in the 
well equipped Hewlett Volunteer Fire 
Department, which has rendered good 
service in the community. Its officers 
are: President, William H. E. Jay; Chief, 
John Keating; Secretary, Lewis Mul- 
doon ; Treasurer, J. H. Howe. The equip- 
ment is thoroughly modern and consists 
of a powerful motor pumping engine and 
hook and ladder apparatus which are 
kept in the Hewlett fire house. 

The assessable value of Woodmere and 
Hewlett is $3,344,000.00, but to this sum 
must be added the assessable value of the 
incorporated village of Woodsburgh, 
which is $651,370.00. The village of 
Woodsburgh is a small exclusive colony, 
being that part of the old village proper 
which is nearest Woodmere Bay and was 
incorporated a few years ago by the 
thirty or forty owners of fine residences 
there in order that they might not be 
assessed in the Woodmere-Hewlett dis- 



trict. In this way the old name of Woods- 
burgh is used by one of the most recent 
developments. An old landmark is the 
building standing at the corner of Broad- 
way and Franklin avenue. This was for- 
merly the only store between Jennings 
corner and East Rockaway. It was first 
used as a regular country store by Rich- 
ard Hewlett and later by Frank H. Wey- 
ant, father of David Weyant, president 
of the village of Cedarhurst. 

The oyster and clam beds in Hewlett 
and Woodmere Bays, which have for 
many years furnished the famous de- 
licious bivalves, the Woodmere oysters, 
and incidentally provided a good means 
of livelihood for many persons, are show- 
ing signs of decadence. "Eel" grass 
has begun to grow on the floor of the 

Hewlett has three churches used also 
by residents of Woodmere. They are 
Trinity (Protestant Episcopal), St. Jo- 
seph's (Roman Catholic) and the Meth- 
odist Episcopal. 

There is no police force in Hewlett. 
The streets are cleaned by the local im- 
provement Society. The cesspool system 
of drainage, called by some the "subsoil 
drainage system," is employed in Hew- 
lett and Woodmere alike. 

Fifty years ago the present beautiful 
village of Woodmere consisted of about 
half a dozen farms, most of whose own- 
ers or tenants eked out a moderate living 

from the sale of the products of the 
meadow and marsh lands. It was then 
called in the neighborhood Brower's (or 
Brewer's) Point. In place of the high 
class suburban development Woodmere 
now is, having in its environs some very 
picturesque and costh' residences, the 
section was a rural part of Far Rock- 
away, and then in the County of Queens. 
It was reached by a roughly-made road, 
the present Broadway, leading from Val- 
ley Stream to the Far Rockaway Beach, 
and by the old Jamaica turnpike which 
joined the other road in the present vil- 
lage of Lawrence. At the junction of 
these two roads was the famous Jen- 
nings corner, a general store and the 
first Far Rockaway post office. Mail for 
residents of every part of the Rockaways 
was left at Jennings corner to be called 
for and numerous old residents distinctly 
recall the days when they went to Jen- 
nings corner, not only to get their mail 
but to play the then regular game of 
"forty fives" and to get a drink of gin 
and sugar — which was also regular. 

The residents between the Rockaway 
Turnpike and Hewlett, half a century 
ago, consisted of Cornelius Vandewater, 
Warren De Mott, John W. De Mott, 
Nathaniel Pearsall, Ebenezer Carman, 
Abram Lawrence, George M. Hewlett, 
John Hitchcock, William Doughty, David 
Andrews, James H. Jennings, Gilbert 
Craft, Stephen Carman, Mott Pettit, Mi- 




cajah Pettit, John C. Hicks and Charles 
Hicks, Treadv/ell Hewlett, Venus Law- 
rence, William Chichester, Daniel D. 
Lord, George T. Hewlett, Robert Car- 
man, John R. Hicks, Abraham Hewlett, 
John Lott, Charles McNeill. 

Modern developments left Brower's 
Point practically untouched until the 
coming of the railroad and the real es- 
tate developer. In 1868 the South Side 
Railroad Company of Long Island com- 
menced construction of a branch line 

the suggestion of the post office authori- 
ties who often confused with the section 
mail directed to residents of Woods- 
burgh, N. Y., and Woodbury, L. I. The 
local post office was in Koch's Drug Store. 
After the death of Samuel Wood in 
1878 his estate passed into the hands of 
Abraham Hewlett, and Woodsburgh de- 
veloped gradually. The interests of the 
various owners were represented by the 
Woodmere Land Improvement Company 
in the management of which Divine 


from Valley Stream to Far Rockaway, 
which it completed and over which it 
operated steam trains in 1869. The pres- 
ent station was located at Brower's Point 
on land given for the purpose by Samuel 
Wood. At that time the name of the 
place was changed to Woodsburgh, after 
the owner of the entire section, Samuel 
Wood, whose hobby and pride it was to 
possess his own little town. Wood was 
a retired importer, in which business he 
had amassed a fortune. He bought up 
all the farms in the vicinity, which he 
called Woodsburgh. 

About the time of the railroad coming 
through Wood caused to be built the fa- 
mous Woodsburgh Pavilion Hotel which 
became a resort of wealthy and fash- 
ionable persons. This hotel faced the 
present Broadway and Woodsburgh 
Boulevard. It accommodated 500 guests, 
and to build and furnish cost the sum of 
$400,000. Contemporaneously with its 
construction some very fine residences 
were built and "high life" was the order 
of the day. The needs of retinues of 
servants brought by the fashionable vis- 
itors created business in the vicinity and 
stores were established to cater to their 
wants. A separate post office district 
was created for the village, which again 
changed its name from Woodsburgh to 
Woodmere. This change was made at 



Hewlett, Thomas W. Martin, Joseph S. 
Wright, George M. Hewlett, Edward 
Schenck and Julian T. Davies were ac- 

The rapid modern building growth of 
the village is due entirely to Robert L. 
Burton of New York City, who, in the 
year 1901 purchased from the Samuel 
Wood estate, represented by the Wood- 
mere Land Improvement Company, the 
entire tract of land south of the railroad 
track, consisting of 200 acres of pleasant- 
ly wooded upland and 100 acres of marsh 
meadow land. The purchase price was 
$125,000. In addition to this purchase, 
Burton immediately acquired land to the 
north of the railroad track, consisting of 
about 50 acres of upland and 50 acres of 
meadow land. 

His first step after he acquired title 
was to tear down the large pavilion hotel 
which had been closed for about four 
years. Every residence, excepting only 
that owned by Divine Hewlett, was either 
torn down or removed to the easterly end 
of the village in the section adjoining 
Hewlett and a new order of things for 
Woodmere was inaugurated. With 
strong financial backing and inspired 



with a desire to emulate the style of 
Tuxedo Park and Lenox, in making 
Woodmere the highest type of restricted 
suburban residential development, Bur- 
ton laid out streets, dredged the creeks 
in Woodmere Bay, built a bridge, 
laid out tennis courts and golf links, 
erected a club house and connected 
gas, water, electric lights and the tele- 
phone system. Burton spent more than 
a million dollars in improvements. 
Many residences of great architectural 
beauty were built on portions of the 
property sold to individuals, and some 
of the best known people made Wood- 
mere their home. From that time on it 
filled rapidly, and to-day the permanent 
population is estimated at about 1,800 
persons. This is increased somewhat in 
the summer months by season visitors. 

In 1909 Robert L. Burton sold his en- 
tire interest in the section to the Hudson 
Realty Company, headed by Maximilian 
Morgenthau, which company has contin- 
ued to develop and improve it where pos- 

The old steam railroad has given place 
to the excellent express electric train 
service of the Long Island Railroad Com- 
pany and the two or three old stores have 
been succeeded by a village business cen- 
tre on Broadway which includes the full 
equipment of a modern business section. 
The Woodmere Club's golf links are fa- 
mous throughout New York. 

The oldest resident of the Rockaways 
lives at Woodmere in the person of Jo- 
seph Skidmore Wright, father of Mrs. 
Divine Hewlett of Woodmere Boulevard. 
The venerable gentleman, who was 90 
years of age on November 11th, is in 
an excellent state of health and, in a con- 
versation with the writer a few days ago, 
recalled numerous incidents of his boy- 
hood and earlier manhood days, and par- 
ticularly referred to the funeral and 
burial at the old Sandhole Church of the 
43 victims of the wreck of the Mexico 
in 1837, at which mournful occasion ho 
was present. 

The Woodmere Union Free School, 
under the direction of the principal, 
Charles S. Wright, educates about 350 
children residing in Woodmere and Hew- 
lett. The grades covered are kindergar- 
ten, primary, grammar and high school 
training. A competent staff of teachers 
is employed and the fine new brick and 
terra cotta school now nearing comple- 
tion will prove a suitable and worthy 

home for the excellent standard of teach- 

The school board of the district con- 
sists of William H. E. Jay, Dallas 
Brower, Smith Carman, Garry Brower 
and Emil Darmstadt. 

There is no police force in Woodmere, 
but uniformed men are employed in some 
sections as watchmen. There is a well 
equipped post office, streets are lighted 
by gas and electricity, and The Wood- 
mere Improvement Society cares for the 
cleaning of them. The drainage, like that 


of Hewlett, is the "subsoil" or cesspool 
system. The land is rich and loamy, 
well wooded and watered. 

Woodmere has a fine frontage to the 
bay of that name and there is good fish- 
ing, bathing and anchorage for yachts 
and motor boats. The air is remarkably 
fine and invigorating. 

Woodmere is efficiently protected 
againt damage by fire by the Woodmere 
Fire Department. This is a volunteer 
organization of about eighty members, 
and is composed of the Woodmere Hose 
Company, the Empire Hook and Ladder 
Company and the Empire Hose Company. 
The two latter companies share the same 
fire house, which is located on Brower 
avenue. The entire equipment consists 
of two modern combination chemical- 
hose engines, one horse-drawn apparatus 
and one hook and ladder apparatus, also 



The Department officers are: Clarence 
Dixon, chief; George Combs, assistant 
chief, and John J. McCarthy, secretary 
and treasurer. 

The company officers are: Woodmere 
Hose — C. A. Schiflfmacher, president; W. 
H. Latham, secretary; W. A. Juch, 
treasurer, and John J. McCarthy, fore- 

Empire Hose Company — Thomas 
Ward, foreman ; Harold Ward, assistant 

Empire Hook and Ladder Company — 
Henry Hoffman, foreman; Robert Mur- 
ray, assistant foreman. 

The Woodmere Hose Company owns 
its fire house building on Franklin place, 
the entire equipment, and also the enor- 
mous fire bell, weighing nearly sixteen 
hundred pounds, and tower, near the 
railroad track at Franklin place. This 
bell was formerly the Far Rockaway fire 
bell and was purchased by the Wood- 
mere Hose Company from the Far Rock- 
away Fire Company, when that village 
was absorbed in Greater New York. 

The Woodmere Hose Company No. 1 
was permanently organized on October 
17th, 1902, at the residence of C. A. 
Schiffmacher, Sr., and the following were 

Hewlett, E. L. Tuthill, Edward L. Mail- 
ler and John W. Latham members. 

The first apparatus, known as a 
"jumper," being a two-wheel affair pulled 
along by members of the company, is 
shown in the illustration. 

Many old Rockaway residents well re- 
member Woodsburgh as the place where 
they cast their first votes in Town of 
Hempstead elections. The old Neptune 
House Hotel, or Woodsburgh House, 
which formerly stood opposite the large 
Pavilion Hotel and was where the Gram- 
ercy Market now is, was conducted by 
Martin V. Wood, brother of Samuel 
Wood, and the votes were "taken" in the 
hotel. There are numerous interesting 
and humorous stories of election day 
incidents in which some of our best 
known men figured and we reluctantly 
pass them over, lacking space to devote 
to their recital. David Felio recalls that 
a stage started from his place at Seaside, 
and one year he with four other demo- 
crats shared the vehicle with five Rock- 
away Beach republicans led by Roland 
Seaman. Other voters were picked up 
on the way to Woodsburgh and a rest 
was given to the horses when a stop was 
made at Far Rockaway. The journey be- 


Left to right: Charles A. Frost, C. A. Schiffmacher, William A. .Juch, C. A. Schiff- 
macher, Jr.; 1)1-. E. C. Smith, A. Burtis, Edward Rich, Joseph Schiffmacher, William H. 
Latham, Edward L. Mailer and Warren Brewer. 

the first officers and charter members : 
Dr. E. C. Smith, president; Divine Hew- 
lett, vice-president; George H. Schiff- 
macher, treasurer ; P. B. Mott, secretary ; 
C. A. Schiffmacher, Sr., foreman; 
Charles A. Frost, assistant foreman ; and 
C. A. Schiffmacher, Jr., Joseph L. A. 
Schiffmacher, Joseph S. Hewlett, Herbert 

ing continued and the voting accom- 
plished, many acquaintances were met, 
greeted and treated and by the time home 
was reached it could easily be called a 
"full day." 

An old landmark is the oldest house 
in the place, known as the Brewer's 
Point Homestead, reputed to be built 



about 1772 by John Brower, shortly be- 
fore the Revolutionary War. The house, 
which stands on East Broadway Wood- 
mere, near Brower avenue, remained in 
constant possession of the Brower fam- 
ily, who added to the original four-room 
cottage, until the year 1909, when Sea- 
man Brower sold it to Charles R. Price, 
an old Woodmere resident, the present 
owner and occupier. Mr. Price, with 
praiseworthy purpose, caused the old 
house to be thoroughly repaired in such 
a manner that the original framework 
and characteristics remain unimpaired. 
Other places of interest in Woodmere are 
the Keystone Yacht Club on Woodmere 
Bay, Woodmere Gun Club, the Woodmere 
Club and golf links. 

The Culluloo Monument 

An interesting old Woodmere lankmark 
is the Culluloo Monument, which now 
stands at the junction of Wood and 
Keene lanes, Woodsburgh. 

The following is the inscription on the 

"Here lived and died 
"Culluloo Telewana, A. D. 1818, 

The last of the Rockaway Iroquois In- 
dians, who was personally known to me 
in my boyhood. I, owning the land, have 
erected this monument to him and his 

"Abraham Hewlett. 1888." 

The facts are that Abraham Hewlett 
was a boy five years old when Culluloo 
died and his recollection of the Indian 
could not have been very distinct. Before 
he died Mr. Hewlett told relatives that 
he remembered "Culluloo, the Indian, 
whom I saw mornings and evenings when 
he went to and returned from work, that 
he was very kind and that I last saw him 
lying dead in a room when several col- 
ored men came and carried him away, but 
where they buried him was never known 
to me." 

Doubts have been expressed as to 
whether Culluloo was an Indian or a black 
man. The late Mrs. William J. Kava- 
nagh, a resident of Lawrence for many 
years, and a well known Indian scholar 
and literary woman, is authority for the 
definite statement that he was a negro 
named Lou and that he was called "Col- 
ored Lou." This viewpoint seems very 
probable. Mr. Hewlett's recollection 
might easily have been of "Colored Lou" 
and his kindly thoughts might have in- 

spired sentimental reasons for the rest, 
of the inscription. However that may be, 
there is no room for doubt that the monu- 
ment does not mark any grave. It first 
stood on Broadway, but was later moved 
to its present site. 

The Woodmere Country Club 

The Woodmere Country Club was 
organized in 1910 and a well equipped 
clubhouse was then opened on Club 
Drive, near the railroad station. The 
first directors and officers were: George 
C. DeLacy, president; Watson Vreden- 
burgh, vice-president; Clarence G. Gals- 
ton, treasurer; W. K. McDonald, secre- 
tary; Frederick Ciurney, James Frank, 
J. C. Morgenthau and J. Lawrence 

The club was immediately successful 
and its accommodations were insufficient 


for the needs of the members, so that 
larger premises became necessary very 
shortly after the club was incorporated. 

The present magnificent clubhouse at 
Woodsburgh was erected and opened in 
1914. The building is well equipped 
and fitted, and its accommodations in- 
clude dormitories, bowling alleys, bil- 
liard and pool rooms, dining room, re- 
ception and lounge rooms, ballroom and 
parlors. There are, also, a beautifully 
situated 18-hole golf course near the 
shores of Woodmere Bay, several ten- 
nis courts, and a fine open air, salt 
water bath, making deep and shallow 
water available for swimmers and 

The membership of the club now num- 
bers about 250 persons, and the present 
officers are: L. J. Robertson, president; 
William A. Schutz, vice-president; 
David A. Ansbacher, treasurer, and I. H. 
Lehman, secretary. 



The Woodmere Private School or 
Academy on Woodmere Boulevard is 
an admirable institution, organized five 
years ago by a number of prominent 
Woodmere gentlemen. Seventeen pupiLs 
were then taught in a house leased for 

the purpose, but the accomodations of 
this building were not sufficient and 
three years ago the fine structure now 
used was erected at a cost of $50,000 
and the number of scholars has already 
increased to about 135. 



CEDARHURST, like other villages in 
the Rockaway peninsula, owes its 
modern development to the excel- 
lent railroad service. The South Side 
Railroad Company, in 1869, established 
a station where the electric power house 
now stands, on land donated by Thomas 
E. Marsh, and named the place Ocean 
Point. The same year Thomas E. Marsh 
and his brother Samuel A. W. Marsh, 
who were engaged in the grain business 
in New York City, went to Ocean Point 
as developers. Thomas E. Marsh was 
the active worker. Together they pur- 
chased several farms and acquired land 
extending from West Broadway to Broad- 
way in one direction and from the Woods- 
burgh boundary at Prospect avenue to 
the Lawrence boundary at Washington 
avenue in the other direction. At that 
time Central avenue did not exist. One 
of the first improvements was the con- 

struction of this important thoroughfare 
through the extent of the Marsh prop- 
erty, and the value of this work was 
greatly enhanced by the continuation of 
the new highway through the adjoining 
village of Lawrence, which was accom- 
plished in that village by Alfred Law- 
rence, the owner. Numerous streets were 
opened and graded and shade trees were 

In 1872 another railroad route was con- 
structed from Rockaway Junction at Ja- 
maica to Ocean Point by Oliver Charlick, 
president of the Long Island Railroad in 
opposition to the South Side route and 
the tracks were continued from the vil- 
lage to Far Rockaway parallel with those 
of the South Side road. This was a 
shorter route operated through Spring- 

Several houses were then being built 
by investors at Ocean Point, but in order 



to expedite the growth of the place, the 
Marsh brothers offered all their unsold 
property south of the railroad tracks, 
for sale by auction, in small plots, in 
1872, and numerous sites were sold to 
residents of New York. These buyers 
mostly held the plots for investment and 
kept them vacant, anticipating a rapid 
increase in values. 

When the Rockaway Hunt Club was 
formed by Charles Cheever and others 
in 1884, a post office was established on 
the club premises and the members 

Many new and handsome houses and 
stores were erected by settlers who 
sought the blessing of the health-giving 
atmosphere in a location easy of access 
to the great city, yet within a few min- 
utes' walk or ride of the glorious ocean 
beaches and of the bay. The real mod- 
ern development commenced about that 

Realizing the need for street improve- 
ments the leading residents applied for 
and obtained a charter and the village 
was incorporated on September 10th, 


Left to right: Top row— William D. Reilly, George W. Craft, Albert T. Moon, 
Lewis M. Raisig, Fred L. Gilbert. Lower row — Arthur M. Lockhart, David H. Weyant 
and John G. McNicoll. 

named it Cedarhurst. The few residents 
then living in what is now called Cedar- 
hurst obtained their mail from Lawrence 
Station. In those days the geographical 
lines of the village of Cedarhurst included 
the present incorporated village and all 
the area south of Broadway to the Bay, 
taking in the present Rockaway Hunting 
Club. This latter area, however, was 
taken into the village of Lawrence after 
that village was incorporated. 

The Town of Hempstead built the 
present handsome public school house for 
the use of children of Cedarhurst resi- 
dents and opened it in 1902. The build- 
ing-up of the village was greatly accel- 
erated when Althause and Smith of Far 
Rockaway and William L. Kavanagh be- 
came selling agents of plots of land. 

1910, under the name of the Village of 
Cedarhurst, whose interests are cared 
for by three trustees. The first trustees 
were James H. P. Vandewater, president ; 
Abram Adelberg and John J. Campbell, 
Sr. Mr. Vandewater died May 8th, 1912, 
and was succeeded by the present presi- 
dent of the village, David H. Weyant, 
whose fellow trustees are: John G. Mc- 
Nicoll and Arthur M. Lockhart. The 
officers of the village are George W. 
Craft, treasurer; Albert T. Moon, col- 
lector; Lewis M. Raisig, clerk; William 
D. Reilly, highway commissioner; Dr. 
Robert F. Hutcheson, health officer, and 
Fred L. Gilbert, village attorney. 

One of the earliest improvements prior 
to incorporation had been installed at the 
instance of James H. P. Vandewater. 


About ten years ago this gentleman, al- 
ways foremost in works of progress, 
aided by leading residents, worked for 
and obtained the establishment of a spe- 
cial lighting district in Cedarhurst. 

The first important act of the new vil- 
lage board of trustees was to provide for 
making, paving and curbing all roads 
in the village and laying of storm sewers. 
The credit of the village was pledged 
and secured by bonds given for the pur- 
pose and the present excellent condition 
of the village streets, which are well 
graded, paved and shaded by fine trees, 
is a direct result of the incorporation and 
the progressive spirit of the village gov- 

Up to five years ago there were very 
few houses north of the railroad track. 
That section, which is bordered on one 
side by the old Eockaway turnpike, is 
now known as Cedarhurst Park North. 
An area of about 100 acres was purchased 
by Abram Adelberg, who immediately 
caused the old farm lands to be laid out 
for a high-class residential building de- 
velopment. Roads were cut through and 
paved and gas, electric, water and tele- 
phone systems were installed. There are 
now upwards of thirty fine residences 
built and occupied by their owners. To 
add to the attractiveness of this section, 
iVlr. Adelberg caused the Cedarhurst 
Country Club to be erected, and it was 
opened on June 1st, 1914. It immediate- 
ly became the centre of social activities 
and has been the scene of many festive 
gatherings. When war was declared bv 
this country against Germany, the club 
was disbanded and Mr. Adelberg placed 
the handsome, well-equipped and com- 
modious building at the disposal of the 
United States Government. It has been 
used as a state armory since. In addi- 
tion to furnishing the use of the build- 
ing, Mr. Adelberg also pays for its up- 
keep and heating, and will do so during 
the continuance of the war. 

Cedarhurst to-day represents the best 
type of a progressive, thriving village. 
Excellent and moderate price stores 
around, a well-equipped picture theatre, 
hoteLs, garages, transportation facilities 
are up-to-date; there is a modern post 
ofiice (Postmaster John Drum), public 
and parochial schools, Roman Catholic 
church (St. Joachim's), and a club house. 
The population is estimated at 3,500 per- 
sons and there is an adequate police 
force. The Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire 

Department furnishes the village with 
fire protection for which the trustees pay 
the firemen the sum of $1,200 annually. 
The drainage is by the cesspool system. 
Streets are well lighted by electricity and 
traffic rules are properly enforced. 

The assessed valuation of the village 
of Cedarhurst for the year 1917 was 
$1,593,225, and the present bonded in- 
debtedness is $90,000. 

Local Landmarks 

The most noteworthy landmark in Ce- 
darhurst was the old toll gate and gate 
house, which was demolished early this 
year to make way for widening the an- 
cient Rockaway and Jamaica turnpike 
road. The old toll gate stood opposite 
Burnside avenue and barred the way of 
passengers. The last toll gate keeper was 
Mrs. Frances Pettit, wife of Stephen 
Pettit, but toll charges over the highway 
were abolished when the electric trolleys 
began to run over the road about twenty 
years ago. At the time, several mar- 
shals visited the gate house, opened the 
gate and fastened the latter back against 
the walls of the house, forbidding its fur- 
ther use or the charging of tolls. It 
had been the practice for years to charge 


tolls and many men living to-day remem- 
ber paying 30 cents to pass and repass 
through the gate with their vehicles. No 
charge was made to pedestrians. As an 
instance of the age of the toll gate we re- 
produce an entry from the records of the 
Town of Hempstead in 1766 : 

Toll Gate. 

January ye 16th 1766. Whereas there 
has been a swinging Gate on the Road 
that leads to Far Rockaway for some 


years past which was put up by the Con- 
sent of the Neighbors which of late hath 
been pulled down they have made apph- 
cation to us Leuit. George Reirson, Cap't 
John Williams and Peter Titus Com- 
misinois for to Lay out and Regulate 
Highways this year and wee having 
Vewed and examined into the same wee 
do think fit to allow the same to be put 
up Againe provided it is kept in good 
Order. As Witness our hands, 
George Reirson, John Williams, Peter 


Another place of interest is a small 
plot of land on West Broadway near the 
corner of Madison avenue, once used as 
a burying ground. The plot is about 60 
feet deep by 40 feet front, and contains 
six headstones recording the burial of 

Henry H. Mott and his wife, Mary Bond, 
Letty Ann Mott, Elkanah and Abigail 
Mott. The dates inscribed are from 
1813 to 1844. One of the stones is near 
the sidewalk and the plot shows regret- 
table signs of consistent neglect. The 
place is in a sad state of repair, and 
one wonders in passing if there are not 
some living relatives of the departed, 
whose pride of race, or respect for the 
dead, can be awakened to inspire them 
to make proper and decent repairs. 

Dan Hanlon's house on Central avenue 
is a very old building and parts of it are 
reputed to have been built more than a 
century ago. 

A more modern landmark is the Cedar- 
hurst Country Club, which no visitor 
should fail to inspect. 


THE beautiful village of Lawrence, 
which deservedly possesses a coun- 
try-wide reputation as beng a 
model and exclusive residential village, 
was first heard of about the year 1870. 
Up till then, that portion of Rockaway 
Neck now occupied by the village, con- 
sisted of farms and thickly wooded lands 
sloping on the east to the shores of 
Woodmere or Brosewere Bay. The open- 
ing of the South Side Railroad attracted 
the attention of many wealthy New York 
real estate speculators, and Newbold 
Lawrence and his two brothers, Alfred 
N. Lawrence and George N. Lawrence, 
chose this spot as the scene of their in- 
vestment and operations. 

These three men purchased all the 
farms in the neighborhood and proceed- 
ed to lay out the entire section as an ex- 
clusive and high class residential district. 
A railroad station was donated by the 
Lawrences, located on the property and 
called Lawrence Station. 

The first important improvement 
undertaken was the cutting through of 
Lawrence avenue from the station to 
Broadway and of Central avenue to Far 
Rockaway. The latter was accomplished 
with the co-operation of Thomas E. 
Marsh of Oceanpoint (now Cedarhurst), 

and a new highway between Far Rock- 
away and Woodsburgh was thus formed. 
It was originally intended for the new 
Central avenue to be cut right through 
to Broadway at Hewlett, but a house was 
built across the proposed new roadway 
at Irving place, Woodsburgh, and the 
project became unfeasible. 

Suitable lots were parcelled out and 
offered for sale and wealthy and influen- 
tial residents of New York admired the 
fine building sites situated amidst such 
beautiful surroundings, became purchas- 
ers and began to settle in Lawrence. 
These included Daniel D. Lord, Albon 
Porter Man, Alexander H. Stevens, Dr. 
J. Carl Schmuck, William Voss, Harold 
Herrick, Samuel P. Hinckley, John F. 
Scott, Samuel L. Rodgers, Frederick A. 
Marquand, Frank Storrs, George C. 
Rand, Alfred Neilson, Anson W. Hard, 
Frederick Pinkus, Russell Sage, Middle- 
ton S. Burrill, William A. Hazard, Jo- 
seph S. Auerbach, George Hewlett, 
James R. Keene, Foxhall Keene, Mc- 
Pherson Kennedy, Franklin B. Lord, Dr. 
Francis W. Murray, Louis Neilson, J. F. 
Schenck, A. Clifl'ord Tower and Baron 
Rudolph de Wardener. 

Numerous noble and costly mansions 
were erected and while, in other devel- 



opments, the average "lot" was acquired 
for building purposes, in Lawrence home 
builders purchased by the acre, although 
land was held at a high figure. The 
greatest skill and inventive powers of 
some of America's most able architects 
were employed in the erection of build- 
ings worthy of their ideal surroundings 
and commensurate with the means and 
needs of their owners. The writer ven- 
tures to affirm that there are few commu- 
nities in America possessing the beauties, 
conveniences and attractions of this de- 
lightfully-situated and exclusively-peo- 
pled village. 

This development was, of course, grad- 
ual and marked by various events of im- 
portance. Considerable impetus was 
given when, in 1884, the Rockaway 
Steeplechase Association with John D. 
Cheever of Far Rockaway, president, 
laid out a fine turf race track, and built 
a spacious club house on land partly 
donated and partly purchased from the 
Ocean Point Company of Cedarhurst. 
The Steeplechase Association then 
leased the house they built to the Rock- 
away Hunt Club, (vide chapter on 
Rockaway Hunting Club.) The new club 
brought many prominent and wealthy 
men into the community and some of 
them purchased land and built fine 
homes in the immediate vicinity. 

About the same time the southerly sec- 
tion of the village, bordered by the At- 
lantic Ocean, attracted the attention of 
other developers, and Rufus W. Leavitt 
acquired from the Lawrences the prop- 
erty called the Isle of Wight, after the 
famous English watering place. A large 
hotel was erected there about the year 
1885. This hotel became the fashionable 
summer resort of artists, sculptors, lit- 
erary men and dilettanti. Oscar Wilde, 
the Irish poet, playwright and wit, whose 
fame was then at its zenith, spent an en- 
tire summer at the Isle of Wight Hotel 
and many times the ample accommoda- 
tions of this and the Osborne House, an- 
other local hotel, could have been utilized. 
An ocean driveway was built to the 
beach and storm sewers laid in the prin- 
cipal streets. 

To expedite building operations in that 
section an auction sale was held on the 
property October 19th, 1889, and an en- 
deavor was made by Mr. Leavitt to divide 
the property into small plots and sell for 
the building of private residences only. 
The sale was not successful. The large 

Isle of Wight Hotel was destroyed by 
fire about the year 1895 and a few years 
later G. Howland Leavitt foreclosed a 
mortgage he held on the propertj', took 
title and afterwards sold it to a syndi- 
cate known as the Lawrence Cedarhurst 
Company. This company was formed for 
the purpose of retaining the property as 
a highly restricted section, which it still 
remains. Lawrence Beach, an ideal 
bathing beach just off shore, is reached 
by a privately owned ferry boat plying 
in the summer months from the main- 
land of the village. 

In the meantime, the main section of 
the village was being built up. Streets 
were laid out, lighted and sewered, gas 
and electric service installed and shade 
trees planted. All these improvements 
were accomplished by the residents who. 


in a somewhat informal manner, met, 
decided upon them and contributed their 
pro rata shares of the attendant expense. 
The Lawrence Association was incorpor- 
ated in August, 1891, by George C. Rand, 
Franklin B. Lord, Dr. J. Carl Schmuck 
and others, and at the cost of $35,000 
erected the building used by the Law- 
rence private school on two acres of land 
acquired for the purpose. This building 
also contains the public hall, which in 
July, 1897, was the scene of a meeting 
of great importance to the future of the 

As a result of that meeting a petition 
for incorporation of the village of Law- 
rence was presented to the Town of 
Hempstead, which body granted a village 
charter. The boundaries of Lawrence 
village were then defined by the Long 
Island railroad tracks on the north, Ban- 



nister Creek on the south, the Rockaway 
turnpike on the east and the boundary 
line of the incorporated village of Far 
Rockaway at McNeill avenue on the west. 
Under the Greater New York City 
charter, which became effective January, 
1898, the city took in as part of the Fifth 
Ward of the Borough of Queens all the 
land up to the Lawrence school house, 
thereby including with the Fifth Ward 
the village of Inwood and greater part 
of the village of Lawrence, leaving that 
village only a small gore piece between 
the school house and turnpike road. 

In 1898 the Doughty bill was passed 
in the legislature at Albany again taking 
from the City of New York all of In- 
wood, and that part of the village of 
Lawrence which had been included in the 
Greater New York Act. These were re- 
stored to the Town of Hempstead. Law- 
rence then extended its boundaries and 
repeated the original boundaries, also 
including that portion of the village line 
south of Bannister Creek and west of a 
line which would be formed by continuing 
the turnpike road through to the ocean. 
Several years later the village again ex- 
tended its boundaries and took in all that 
territory south of Broadway east of its 
boundary line to Auerbach Lane and in- 
cluding the land occupied by the Rock- 
away Hunting Club. Later yet, the vil- 
lage again extended its boundaries east 
of Rockaway turnpike to the centre of 
Washington avenue on the east, the Long 
Island Railroad on the north and Broad- 
way on the south. The foregoing defines 
the present boundaries of the incorporat- 
ed village of Lawrence. 

When the village was incorporated in 
July, 1897, the first president was Frank- 
lin B. Lord, and the first trustees were 
George C. Rand and George Hewlett. The 
first public improvement of the new vil- 
lage was the raising of funds for mak- 
ing, sewering, curbing and grading the 
roads, and further beautifying the vil- 
lage. Bonds were issued and the model 
roads now existing were constructed. It 
is said that the sum of $25,000 was ex- 
pended on the park like approach to the 
railroad station. 

There are several stores and garages 
at the east end of the village, a bank, a 
church, a church mission, a well equipped 
post office and a handsome well arranged 
building recently constructed for the ac- 
commodation of high school and gram- 
mar school students at an expense of 

$125,000. There is a court room and 
lock-up in the village and regular court 
sittings are presided over by Lewis M. 
Raisig, Justice of the Peace for the Town 
of Hempstead. 

The system of street lighting is elec- 
tric and the drainage is the Waring sys- 
tem. The police force is adequate and 
fire protection is furnished by the Law- 
rence Cedarhurst Fire Department, to 
which the village pays the sum of $2,100 

The present trustees of the village are : 
Charles C. Adams, president; John J. 
Wood, Norton Perkins, Joseph Fried and 
W. Ellsworth Sprague. The officers are: 
J. Russell Sprague, village justice; Petei- 
B. Olney, Jr., treasurer; Cornelius L. 
Both, clerk; Henry Worthington, tax col- 
lector, and Andrew Peterson, street com- 
missioner. Dr. Edward H. Pershing is 
health officer. 

The estimated population is 1,500 per- 

The assessed valuation of Lawrence 
for 1917 is $4,777,036. The present 
bonded indebtedness is $240,000. 

In all its history Lawrence has been 
the richest village in point of assessed 
valuation for population in New York 
State. One village bond of considerable 
size was issued by a vote of six qualified 

Lawrence possesses the additional in- 
terest of claiming the site of the first 
church ever built on Rockaway Neck. 
This was in 1831 when McThendre's 
chapel was built on the site of the pres- 
ent Lawrence Methodist Church on the 
turnpike road (vide chapter on local 
churches). The first Rockaway post 
office was for years located at Jennings 
house and country store at the junction 
of the old Indian paths of Broadway 
and the Jamaica turnpike. Until devel- 
opment of the neighboring and interven- 
ing villages, all mail for Far Rockaway 
residents was delivered from and called 
for there. In more recent years a fine 
pleasure grove known as Jenning's Grove 
was the scene of pleasurable outings en- 
joyed by thousands of visitors. This 
grove was on property now owned by 
Mr. Wicke opposite the old store which 
has served its usefulness and day as a 
country store, and is now solely occupied 
as a private dwelling house by Miss M. 
L. Jennings. 

The oldest and most famous building 
in the Rockaways, Rock Hall, is in Law- 



rence. We refer our readers to the 
special chapter on the history of this old 

Local Places of Interest. 
Places of interest in Lawrence include 
Rock Hall (built in 1768), the Rockaway 
Hunting Club, Lawrence Beach, Law- 
rence Private Academy, and the old Jen- 
nings Homestead. 

Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department 

The Washington Hook and Ladder 
Company of Lawrence, now popularly 
called the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire De- 


partment, was chartered about the year 
1883. The first chief, or foreman, was 
Ebenezer L. Smith. 

The company is composed of about one 
hundred and twenty members, all volun- 
teers, and protects against fire the incor- 
porated villages of Lawrence and Cedar- 
hurst. In addition to its fire duties, the 
company provides many of the entertain- 
ments and social events of the two vil- 
lages. The large brick building known as 
Firemen's Hall, valued at $50,000, is 
owned by the company and the building 
serves for headquarters, club rooms, hall 
and fire house. In addition, a portion is 
leased to the Bank of Lawrence and other 
parts are leased for court house, lock-up 
and village clerks' offices. 

The old frame building first used now 
stands at the rear of a blacksmith's shop 
on Central avenue, Lawrence. 

The fire apparatus and equipment of 
the department are up-to-date and belong 
to the Lawrence Company. There are 
two steam fire engines, one automobile 
chemical engine and hook and ladder 
truck, combined, one hose apparatus, one 
Simplex automobile, and one horse-drawn 
hook and ladder truck. 

The Fire Commissioner for Lawrence 
is Assemblyman Thomas A. McWhineny, 
and for Cedarhurst, J. J. Campbell. The 
fire chief is Edward Horn; assistant 
chief, William D. Reilly; treasurer, Ed- 
mund Wood ; financial secretary, Edward 
Jeal, and recording secretary, Allen J. C. 


Rock Hall at Lawrence is one of the 
oldest and most notable residences on 
Long Island. It was built in 1768 by 
Josiah Martin, the British ex-Governor 
of the Province of North Carolina, a 
strong Tory who became obnoxious to the 
Whigs of that Province, from which he 
fled, leaving a large landed estate which 
was confiscated (vide Sabin's Loyalists). 

Governor Martin purchased 400 acres 
of land at Rockaway from John Cornell, 
for two thousand pounds, on September 
21st, 1767, and built the famous Rock 
Hall. The architect was Timothy Clowes 
of Jamaica, who also designed St. 

George's Church, Hempstead. Money 
was spent lavishly in constructing the 
residence with its outbuildings, overseer's 
and slaves' quarters, and in laying out 
the estate. The house was and is still 
approached by a fine avenue lined with 
well-grown trees. The interior decora- 
tions attracted considerable attention 
and many visitors have admired the fine 
oil painting by the famous artist. Sir 
John Copeley, representing a young boy 
playing with a dog. Rock Hall was the 
scene of entertainments and the centre 
for hunting parties on a lavish scale until 
the death of Governor Martin there on 



November 21st, 1778. His body was 
buried at St. George's Church Hemp- 
stead. His widow survived him but did 
not inherit Rock Hall. She died in 1825 

Thomas Hewlett of Hewletts, where she 
died. She left all the pictures and works 
of art in Rock Hall, which she claimed, to 
Thomas Hewlett. Two or three years 

in New York City. Governor Martin later the Rock Hall estate was sold by 


left the property to his son, Dr. Samuel 
Martin, who lived there and entertained 
on a large scale and was a very popular 
man. He died, unmarried, on April 19th, 
1806, aged 66 years. His remains were 
interred at Old Trinity Church, Broad- 
way, New York City. He left Rock Hall 
to his two sisters, Rachel and Alice. 
Alice died unmarried. Rachel married 
Thomas Bannister, and their joint title 
to the property was confirmed in the Cor- 
nell partition suit of 1808. Bannister 
creek was named for them. After Alice 
Martin's death, Thomas Bannister pur- 
chased her half share in the estate for 
$.5,425, on September 12th, 1817, thus 
becoming the sole owner. Another sis- 
ter of Dr. Samuel Martin had a son, 
Major Charles McNeill, who served in 
the war of 1812. The family appears to 
have been in financial difficulties later 
and the property fell into a bad state of 
repair. Major McNeill deserted his wife 
and she went to live at the home of 

order of the trustees, Dr. Ebenezer Lock- 
wood and Dr. Bannister. These two men 
were trustees under Dr. Martin's will. 
The sale was by auction in order to pay 
the family debts, and Thomas Hewlett 
was the purchaser. Portions of the es- 
tate have since been sold, but the residue, 
not exceeding in all one hundred acres, 
still remains in possession of members 
of the Hewlett family, who reside at 
Rock Hall in the summer time. 

The slave quarters, which formerly 
stood at the southerly end of the prem- 
ises, were removed in 1881. 

The illustrations of Rock Hall show 
the original building, which is still in a 
good state of preservation. The house 
is illuminated by the aid of oil lamps, as 
the owners have refused to have the old 
timbers disturbed by installing gas or 
electric services. Two years ago, how- 
ever, they allowed a telephone to be in- 




The early foundation of the Rockaway 
Hunting Club is of great interest. This 
event took place one Saturday afternoon 
in September, 1877, when twelve riders, 
including E. N. Dickerson, Jr., W. J. 
Sloane, Arthur Dodge, Nathaniel Jarvis 
and others, all wealthy young Rockaway 
residents, with John D. Cheever as the 
leading spirit, started out from Bernard 
C. Reilly's barn near the Jamaica turn- 
pike, Far Rockaway. The barn was near 
a hill close to the present junction of 
the turnpike road and Burnside avenue, 

The hunt was on the lines of the old 
"paper chase," in which the "hares" led 
and dropped paper. After the "hares" 
had disappeared the "hounds" chased 
them, tracking them down by the pieces 
of paper thrown away by the "hares." 
This historic chase ended at Valley 
Stream, and was greatly enjoyed by the 

of Far Rockaway, leased Reilly's house 
and barn and hunted over all the local 
country side which then had compara- 
tively few residents, and these were 
mostly farmers. Louis Neilson was Mas- 
ter of Hounds. In 1878 the first Rock- 
away Hunt Club was organized with 
Alexander Stevens, president; William 
Voss, treasurer, and Edward Spencer, 
secretary. John D. Cheever was Master 
of Hounds. A lease of "Aunt Sally 
Mott's" homestead on Mott's Lane (now 
avenue) was taken from Mrs. Seaman, 
and several English hounds were im- 

Many of the members took lodgings 
adjoining the club house, which was near 
the railroad station, and dined at the 
club. Live pigeon shooting was prac- 
ticed and became a favorite sport, and 
polo was inaugurated, for which sport a 
field was leased, where Dr. J. C. 


riders. The next Saturday afternoon an- 
other chase took place and six native 
hounds were used. This was a "drag" 
hunt, in which a bag treated with ani- 
seed, was dragged along by the hare, and 
was extremely successful. As a result 
a number of the young men, residents 

Schmuck's residence now stands, oppo- 
site Lawrence Station. 

The club organized one steeplechase 
meeting each year, the riders all being 
amateurs and mostly members of the 
club. A rough course was laid out to the 
eastward of the club house in Bays- 



water, which was not then built up. One 
of the most celebrated race meetings was 
that held in 1882, when there were 
eighteen starters in the steeplechase, all 
being gentlemen jockeys. This famous 
race was won by Harry Harwood, on a 
horse called "Tonkaway," owned by Ed- 
ward Jackson. 

In 1883 Frank Gray Griswold was ap- 
pointed Master of Hounds, and he 
brought with him his own pack, which 
he had formerly hunted under the name 
of the "Queens County Hounds." This 
pack became known as the "Queens 
County Hounds of the Eockaway Hunt" 
and the hunting grounds were enlarged 
to cover portions of Long Island towards 
the North Shore, which had formerly 
been hunted by Mr. Griswold. 

In 1884 a land company, known as the 
Ocean Point Company, which owned 
large tracts of land at Cedarhurst, of- 
fered to give about four acres of land 
to the club, provided a company was 
formed for the purpose of establishing 
a fine steeplechase course. Such a com- 
pany was organized with John D. Cheever 
as president. Stock was issued and sub- 
scribed for, money provided and a club 
house, with spacious balconies and pi- 
azzas from which the full course could 
be seen, was built. The company, known 
as the Eockaway Steeplechase Associa- 
tion, purchased some thirty to forty acres 
of additional land from the Ocean Point 
Company. A turf race track was laid out 
and racing was established. A railroad 
siding for race track trains was built 
from Woodsburgh to the course. The 
company leased the house they built to 
the Eockaway Hunt Club, and the name 
was changed to the Eockaway Hunting 
Club. The club was to insure the build- 
ing and to have the option of purchas- 
ing the remaining land of the Eockaway 
Steeplechase Association if they so de- 

Mr. Edward La Montagne was the sec- 
ond president of the club, and Edward 
H. Harriman, vice-president. 

The membership of the club, which 
amounted to about sixty at Far Eock- 
away, had increased in 1884 to about 
one hundred, and this accession was due 
to the organization of the Eockaway 

From 1884 to 1889 two Steeplechase 
meetings were given yearly, and proved 
extremely popular, most of the riders 

being members of the Eockaway Hunt- 
mg Club, the Meadowbrook club or other 
kindred clubs. 

The Steeplechase Association was not a 
financial success on account of the great 
expense attending the meetings, and 
the fact that the legislature was engaged 
in making laws to abolish betting on 
race tracks. In July, 1893, the club house 
was totally destroyed by fire and the 
Eockaway Steeplechase Association sub- 
sequently went into liquidation. 

The Eockaway Hunting Club, having 
collected inurance on the building, exer- 
cised its option and purchased some sev- 
enteen or eighteen acres of land which 
formerly belonged to the Eockaway 
Steeplechase Association. The remain- 
ing part of the land left by the asso- 
ciation was divided between members 
who had advanced money to the com- 
pany on certificates of indebtedness. 

After the destruction of the club house 
a temporary home was leased from Mr. 
EHiott. The club added to the house a 
kitchen and piazza, and remained there 
until the completion of the present club 
house on July 1, 1894, when the club was 
incorporated, taking possession of thc- 
new club house with the following offi- 
cers: George C. Eand, president; Mid- 
dleton S. Burrill, vice-president; New- 
bold Lawrence, secretary, and Eennie La 
Montagne, treasurer. Hunting with the 
pack was continued until 1899, when it 
was abandoned owing to building devel- 
opment in the neighborhood. 

The membership of the club to-day is 
approximately 350, and more land has 
been purchased during the past few 
years. The club now owns about 90 
acres. The nine-hole golf course is be- 
ing enlarged by the construction of an 
additional nine hole course, a bridge 
across Burton's creek has been erected, 
there are eighteen lawn tennis courts, a 
fine polo field, squash courts and a trap 
shooting (clay pigeon) outfit. 

Foreign sportsmen of note visiting 
America count their visit incomplete un- 
less they have seen the famous and beau- 
tiful home of the Eockaway Hunting 

The president of the club is William 
A. Hazard. The other officers are: H. 
Hobart Porter, vice-president; Frederick 
H. Hatch, treasurer, and Newbold T. 
Lawrence, secretary. 




THE village of Inwood is a well 
defined but unincorporated area 
of Nassau County adjoining Far 
Rockaway proper and has a population 
of about four thousand persons. 

It was first settled a hundred years 
ago by a number of fishermen and at 
that time was known as North West 
Point, taking that name from its geo- 
graphical position in relation to the 
more central part of Far Rockaway, of 
which it was then a part. The turn- 
pike road to Jamaica bounds it on the 
east side; the Long Island railroad 
tracks and the Village of Lawrence 
bound it on the south side, and Jamaica 
Bay bounds it on the north and most 
of the west side, the remaining westerly 
portion adjoining Far Rockaway terri- 

Indians and white men took place as 
related in another chapter. The early 
settlers were a more or less lawless lot 
and although they were not numerous 
they were periodically troublesome to 
other Rockaway residents. Many inci- 
dents in which rough horse play and 
harsh physical conduct were the main 
features are directly traceable to these 
hard North West Pointers. About fifty 
j'ears ago the section became generally 
known as Westville and participated 
in the rapid growth of the peninsula 
which occurred with the opening of the 
railroad. At that time the few houses 
existing were reached by paths con- 
necting with old Broadway and the 
turnpike road. When the Lawrences 
developed Lawrence the Inwood end of 
Lord avenue was made, and was the 


The "North West Pointers," as the 
early settlers were called, were men 
who worked on, owned, or operated 
fishing boats on Jamaica Bay, which 
comes to a head at that part and has 
numerous inlets and minor harbors or 
docks. The westerly point of Inwood 
occupies high land and parts of it are 
still thickly covered with woods, the 
remnants of a former forest. The place 
is the centre of many interesting Indian 
legends and stories and it is at Inwood 
that the earliest meeting of Rockaway 

first road constructed. That event was 
the beginning of development and 
opened up the section which rapidly 
grew from that time on. IMain streets 
and cross streets were laid, houses 
were erected and a steady influx of 
home seekers and builders occurred. 

The section covers a considerable 
area, parts of which are very beauti- 
ful. The spacious Inwood Country 
Club is delightfully located in its own 
grounds of about 300 acres at the 
actual north west point of the 



peninsula. The extensive golf links of 
the club, which has a membership of 
about 325, are admirably laid in park 
like surroundings. 

The first post office was established 
on February 25, 1889, and the name of 
the village was then changed to In- 
wood. The first postmaster was Mr. 
J. D. Crosby, who still holds that office. 
The post office authorities refused to 
allow a post office named Westville be- 
cause there was already one existing 
in the state by that name, hence the 
change from Westville to the present 
village name of Inwood. Although 
numerous families of the early settlers 
still reside at Inwood, it has come to 
be known generally as an Italian settle- 
ment and a majority of the four thou- 
sand residents are Italians. Until re- 
cently and for a period of years the 
rough horse play of the old baymen 
was overlooked on account of the gun- 
play of the foreigners and the name 
Inwood for quite a while conjured up 
thoughts of dark deeds of violence. 
The foreign element is of Albano-Ital- 
ian birth or extraction, and is quite dis- 
tinct from pure blooded Italians, speak- 
ing a distinct and separate language. 
The lawlessness of the bad parts of In- 
wood has been greatly overcome of re- 
cent years mainly owing to the zealous 
efforts of the priests there who set 
themselves the difficult task they 
have so well performed and in which 
they have been greatly aided by the 
local Justice of the Peace, Lewis M. 

The community spirit in Inwood is 
very strong and it is commonly known 
that any social or business affair which 
Inwood residents take up as a body is 
assured of success and undivided sup- 

Nearly all the buildings in Inwood — 
which is well equipped with good 
stores, a fire department and a post 
office — are of frame construction. There 
are two large public schools, two 
churches and that admirable institu- 
tion, the Sage Industrial School, where 
boys and girls from the public schools 
are taught, without charge, useful 
trades in order to equip them to earn 
their own livings when they arrive at 
suitable age. 

The Inwood Volunteer Fire Depart- 
ment, consisting of about forty mem- 
bers, is well equipped with modern 

automobile apparatus and is a most 
efficient body of men who have repeat- 
edly established records for speedy and 
good work. Last year they established 
a world's record in a tournament dis- 
play. The first Inwood fire company 
was the Electric Hook and Ladder Com- 
pany of Westville, established about 
thirty-five years ago. Some years later 
the Citizen's Hose Company was also 
formed. These two companies were 
later merged and form the present In- 
wood Fire Department which owns the 
fire house building and equipment. The 
officers are: John Grady, chief; Lester 
Alger, first assistant chief; Louis 
Leder, financial secretary and Solomon 
Wanser, recording secretary. The 
treasurer is Alexander Wanser, who 
has held that office for many years. 

The old rendezvous of the baymen is 
still the meeting place of a number of 
fishermen and is called the "Dock" on 
the foot of Bayview avenue at Jamaica 
Bay. The interested visitor may even 
yet meet some of the old timers there 
in their daily work and view with won- 
der the physical feats of some of those 
hardy old men whose ages in some cases 
have considerably exceeded man's al- 
lotted "six-score years and ten." 

The Inwood Country Club was in- 
corporated in 1901 and opened a small 
club house at Inwood managed by a body 
of twelve directors, Jacob Wertheim 
being the first president, and Frank 
Lewine, treasurer. The club was well 
supported from the outset and has al- 
ways been strong financially. The 
membership rapidly increased and the 
accommodations of the first club house 
were taxed to the utmost limit so that it 
soon became necessary to plan for in- 
creased facilities. In 1914 the present 
property of the club, comprising 300 
acres of valuable land, was purchased 
aud the new and luxurious home of the 
club was shortly afterwards built and 

The present membership of the club 
is 325 men and there are 125 associate 
lady members. In addition to the at- 
tractions of the club house itself there 
is a splendid golf course of eighteen 
holes, a gun club and tennis courts. 
The officers are Samuel Eisman, presi- 
dent; D. A. Aronson, vice-president; 
Albert T. Steiner, treasurer and I. I. 
Lewine, secretary. 




Up to the time of going to press it has been impossible for the writer to 
gather a complete list of "OUR BOYS" in the Rockaway peninsula, who have 
so willingly volunteered their services on their country's behalf, and are now 
risking their lives in the army, navy and aerial service. The following list, how- 
ever, gives the names of a considerable number whose names we have been able 
to gather and publish on this permanent HONOR ROLL: 

Adams, Lewis G. 
Arnold, Henry N. 
Bannard, J. Augustus 
Bentley, Edward M., Jr. 
Brasee, Crosby 
Bowker, Edward 
Bruhn, Harry 
Ball, Grosvenor 
Burr, Robert 
Burr, Winthrop 
Bitner, .John Arthur 
Bedell, Otis Hudson 
Burmann, Otto A. B. 
Chauncey, Kaymond 
Carney, William 
Crocker, Stanley 
Cannomara, Louis 
Chave, Walter 
Cook, Lindley Wilkinson 
Carter. Walter 
C'unningham, Walter 
Charmers, Arthur 
Condon, Jas. H. 
Dickinson, E. B 
Dehnert, Arthur 
De Mott, Edward 
Dale, C. Whitney 
Donnelly, George 
De Lacy, George C. 
Douglas, John J. 
Donaldson, Clark 
Davenport, McHugh 
Flemming, George 
Fleniming, Samuel 
Fletcher, Arthur 
Fagan, Thos. 
Goodman, Eddie 
Graham, R. E. 
Gallagher, Francis 
Gasser, Bernard 
Hicks, Howard 
Horton, Henry 
Hicks, IVIorris 
Herrick, Newbold T. 

llerrifk, Harold, Jr. 
Hazzard, Wm. A.. Jr. 
Hewlett, James A. 
Hewlett. Willis 
Heywood, Milton E. 
Hard, De Courcey L. 
Ivison, Maynard 
.Jacob, Morris 
Johnson, Austin 
Johnson, Cortland 
Johnson, Kenneth Maxwell 
Judas, Gerald 
Jordan, John F. 
Kahn, Alexander 
Kelly, Frederick L. 
Kiles, Gerard 
Klein, Cyril P. 
Kleinfeller, John E. 
Lund. Wm. Peterson 
Lanman. Ludlow B. 
Ijcvy, Albert 
La Montagne, Wm. A. 
Ludlum, HerJiert Jas. 
Moss, Johnson Leslie 
Marter, Arthur C. 
McGinn, Clarence 
Marsh, Edward 
McNamara, Amljrose 
McGuire, Thomas 
Millner, Herbert 
McGinn, Francis 
McGinn, Harold 
Maver, .John 
Mott, Fred G. 
Martin, Jos. N. 
Murray, I,awrence 
Norton, Walter 
Norton, Berge 
Olney, ,Sigourney 
O'Rourke, Thomtis 
Philips, Kenneth 
I-'hilips, John 
Philips, Wm. 

I'l-att, Wm. R. 
Itizzo, John 
liydn, Gerald 
Jiand, Gordon L. 
Rand, Curtis 
Itode, Stanley 
Resua, Gustave 
Rhinelander, Philip N. 
.Stephenson, Joseph 
Stephenson, Richard, Jr. 
Sullivan, Leonard 
Stephen, Byron K. 
.Schaumloefell, Ernest 
,Scanlan, Lawrence 
.Scanlan, David 
.Smith, Everard 
.Schleif, John 
.Sla,von, James 
Safford, Wm. R. 
.Stone, Herman T. 
Steiner, Harold A. 
Shanley, Patrick J. 
Smythe, .John 
Schreiber, Fabian 
Sterling, .Stewart 
Seaman, Everit White 
Schmeisin, Henry 
Simonson, Eugene 
Sunberger, ,John H. 
Toleman, Harold 
Taylor, Wm. li. K., .Jr. 
Taylor, Anson Hard 
Thompson, Lionel 
Thum, Karl Algier 
Van Dine, Merle 
Vail, Edward 
Van Wicklen, Alvin F. 
Walsh, James 
Winlock, Herbert E. 
White, Thomas F. 
Wood, John 
Walton, Lawrence R. 
Walton, Ernest E. 
Wood, Milton Henry 


Captain, Foulke O. E. 
Ivnudson; lirst lieutenant, 
Walter .Seligman; second lieu- 
tenant, Jacob G. Davis. 

First sergeant, JJaniel E. 
Barry; supply sergeant, Ed- 
ward D. Lee. 

.Sergeants, Howard S. Sterne, 
Jjcwis M. Stewart, William H. 
Jjoolittle, AVilliam Jj. Jleissel, 
James A. Caffrey, Harold 
Levy and William F. Mayer. 

Corporals, .Joseph .J. Arneth, 
Harold Mott, Frank Kiernan, 
Gerald A. Ryan, Stanley A. 
Werner, Jei'ome Jje\y, T^eon 
R. .Spear, Benjamin J^aw- 
rence, ]Mich?iel .J. Barry, .Ir., 
and Richard .J. PJalpin. 

Cooks, Samuel Samuels and 
I-'rank Andalschek. 

^lechanics, Frank A. Scclig 
and John J. Devanney. 

Bugler, Louis Ji:. Jtaven- 

J'irst cbiss i>ri\'ates, .losejth 
^r. Baurn, Allen Glenn Chat- 
ter. JoJin II. r-\"iber, .lohn L. 

Farrington, .John J. Gaffney, 
Jr.. J'oster Gunther, Jjconard 
H. Gidding, Harry A. Hirt, 
Joseph G. JacoJjs, John C. Le 
Roux, Jidwin A. J^iebowitz, 
Harold T. McGinn, Albert J. 
Milan, Howard C. Montgom- 
ery, George .J. Morrison, 
Howard Richmond. Alexan- 
der B. r-lydell and Walter H. 

I-'rivates, William A. Adams, 
Alexander Anderson, LeRoy 
E. Andrews, Adam A. Balzer, 
Patrick It. Barrett, Bertram 
Jiecrman, John H. Jioyle, 
William J. Jirand, Elias l>. 
Brower, RoJjcrt J. Cahill, 
Daniel J. Callahan, Myron 
Combs, Walter H. ComJjs, 
Harr.\- R Carman. William .J. 
t'urtis, .Jr., AlJjcrt Davenport, 
I-"rank D. Dolan. I^atrick V. 
Jniggan, Jr., Joseph F. Egel, 
George A. Featherson, Wil- 
liam Ferguson. Charles PJ. 
J->y, Tloward Fisher, Gustave 
Gbinzman, .Jacpjes H. Herts, 

citto Hofl'vitz, Jr., David Jaffe, 
Charles J. Kane. Walter F. 
Keenan, Itoy J^angdon, Gilbert 
F. Lindner, John McCumis- 
key, Clarence .J. McGinn, 
I'"rank J. iSlcGinn, Harold A. 
JIcGrevy, Charles J. Mazzei, 
.John Mair, Anthony IMarasco, 
J-'rank ^Todica, W^illiam M. 
.Alorrison, John E. Mount, .Jr., 
Frederick H. Muller, Charles 
H. Murray, Edward A. Mur- 
jjhy, Frederick L. Knoll 
I<'rank S. Pearsall, William H. 
I'feiffer, Jr., Arthur E. Pries- 
ly, Mark Ki. Itairden, John 
Rizzo, William R. .Safford, 
JTenry A. Schilling, J_,eland H. 
C. Schmeelk, JjOuis A. .Shea, 
Philip Jj. Skelly, Arthur 
Smith, Royal Dewey Smith, 
Harry C. .Spatz, Adolph C. 
Sijitzer, Richard M. Thomp- 
son, William J. Walsh, Wil- 
liam F. Wilkinson, .Jr., Rich- 
ard A. Wolff and John B. 




UP to the time of the Cornell parti- 
tion suit in 1809, and for a con- 
siderable period afterwards, the 
Far Rockaway section was the only por- 
tion of the peninsula which attracted 
serious attention, the westerly section 
where Edgemere, Arverne, Rockaway 
Beach and Rockaway Park now are, be- 
ing used for grazing purposes only. 
Here horses and cattle were turned 
loose and allowed to roam at will, seek- 
ing sustenance from the scattered 
shrubs and herbage which decorated 
the sandy waste. 

The section of the peninsula west of 
Wave Crest was all marsh land and 
several creeks ran from ocean to bay. 
Up to six years ago one of these creeks, 
known as the Wave Crest Inlet, was in 
existence and connected' the ocean at a 
point east of the Edgemere Club with 
Jamaica Bay under Norton's Bridge. 
This was filled in at that time and the 
main boulevard carried over the present 
Norton's Bridge. 

The first man to recognize the value 
of the Rockaways as a summer resort 
was John Leake Norton, who in 1830 
purchased from the Cornell heirs under 
the 1809 partition suit lots 9, 10, 11, 12, 
13, 14 and 15 in the eastern division, 
including the whole of Edgemere and 
Far Rockaway, and the marsh land 
north of lots 14 and 15. In the year 
1833 Mr. Norton, who married a sister 
of Governor George Clinton, induced a 
number of wealthy and well-known New 
York men to form the Rockawaj' Asso- 
ciation and they purchased a tract of 
land and erected upon it a fine hotel. 
This was the famous Marine Pavilion 
known throughout America at that time. 
It cost $43,000 to build, which in those 
days was a tremendously large amount 
of money to expend on a building of 
that character. 

The Rockaway Association, of which 
Philip Hone, ex-mayor of New York 
City; Robert Ray and John A. King 
(Governor of New York State) were 
trustees, also purchased property from 
Benjamin C. Lockwood, on which the 
pavilion was built. 

We reproduce the purchase agree- 
ment verbatim. 

Rockaway Association 

In consideration of the sum of one 
dollar to me in hand paid receipt 
whereof is herebj- acknowledged, I 
for myself, and in behalf of my Co- 
trustees, Philip Hone and John A. 
King, do agree to purchase for the 
Rockaway Association from Mr. Ben- 
jamin C. Lockwood, all his houses, 
barns, stables and grounds at Rock- 
away, bounded by the road rear of 
his Barn, road to the Beach, land 
lately sold by him to Jas. G. King and 
others — with all the privileges he 
possesses for the sum of two thou- 
sand five hundred dollars and one 
share in the association of five hun- 
dred dollars, to give possession on 
the first day of May next, and a clear 
satisfactory Deed for same on or be- 
fore the 15 March next, he deducting 
interest at 7% per annum until 1 
New York 28 February, 1833. 

Robert Ray, Trustee of 
Rockaway Association. 
Sam Ward. 

The exact site of the Marine Pavilion 
was just south of where Norton street 
now joins Central avenue. The old yel- 
low frame building still standing at the 
west side of Central avenue was for- 
merly used as the kitchens of the hotel, 
v.'hich had a frontage of 230 feet over- 
looking the ocean, its easterly end was 
about where the fence of Bushel's 
American Hotel now is, and Central 
Avenue at that part now covers the 
same ground as the hotel was built 
across. The place was run in a splen- 
did manner and became the most fash- 
ionable resort on the Atlantic Coast. 
It gave the Rockaways the first coun- 
try-wide advei'tising this section ever 
had, and attracted the attention of 
numerous investors and developers who 
were quick to see the great possibilities 



of Rockaway as a summer resort. From 
that time on its growth and advance- 
ment as a residential section was as- 

In his history of Long Island pub- 
lished in 1839 Thompson, the historian, 
says of the Marine Pavilion: 

"It is a large and splendid edifice, 
standing upon the margin of the At- 
lantic, and has hitherto been kept in a 
style not excelled by any hotel in the 
Union. The main building is 230 feet 
front with wings, one of which is 

There is a poem known as the Ode 
to Rockaway, written by Morris and 
dedicated to this section, which is sup- 
posed to have been inspired by the 
measured rhythm of the breakers on 
the shore. Morris is said to have writ- 
ten the well-known lines on the Marine 
Pavilion porch. 

On old Long Island's seagirt shore 
Many an hour I've whiled away, 
List'ning to the breakers roar 
That wash the beach at Rockaway; 

ff'^ ^ 


seventy-five and the other forty-five 
feet long. The peristyles are of the 
Doric order, the piazza being 235 feet 
in length by 20 in width. The sleeping 
apartments number 160. The dining- 
room is eighty feet long and the draw- 
ing-room fifty. It was erected by an 
association of gentlemen of the City of 
New York, the cost, including the land 
and standing furniture, $43,000, and 
was sold to the present owners, Stephen 
Whitney and Charles A. Davis, for 
$30,000. The atmosphere here is fresh, 
cool and delightful; invalids soon find 
themselves benefited, and all experience 
fresh inspiration and increased vigor 
by repeated plunges in the ocean." 

The Marine Pavilion was completely 
destroyed by fire on June 25th, 1864. 
During its existence many men of note 
were visitors. Longfellow, Washington 
Irving, Trumbell, the artist, and Gen- 
eral George P. Morris are known lo 
have been frequent guests. 

Transfixed I've stood while nature's 

In one harmonious concert broke 
And, catching its Promethean fire. 
My inmost soul to rapture woke. 

Oh, how delightful 'tis to stroll 
Where murmuring winds and waters 

Marking the billows as they roll 
And break resistless at your feet; 
To watch young Iris, as she dips 
Her mantle in the sparkling dew. 
And, chas'd by Sol, away she trips 
O'er t'ne horizon's quiv'ring blue. 

To hear the startling night winds sigh, 
As dreamy twilight lulls to sleep; 
While the pale moon reflects from high 
Her image in the mighty deep; 
Majestic scene where Nature dwells, 
Profound in everlasting love. 
While her unmeasured music swells. 
The vaulted firmament above. 



The same company — the Rockaway 
Association — which built the Marine 
Pavilion also formed a Turnpike Com- 
pany (under a special act of legisla- 
ture) called the Jamaica and Rockaway 
Turnpike Company, which caused to be 
built a shell road across the meadows 
shortening the distance between the 
city and Jamaica and Rockaway by 
about eight miles. This road is today 
known as the Jamaica and Jericho 
Turnpike over which the trolleys be- 
tween Far Rockaway and Jamaica op- 
erate. The road is in bad repair and 
not fit for fast traffic. The city, county 
and state have pledged themselves to 
construct a fine modern road there and 
work upon its reconstruction is now 

Up to the end of last year a pic- 
turesque old toll house and gate stood 
on the turnpike road, but has been torn 
down to make way for widening of the 
thoroughfare. JVIany persons now liv- 
ing well remember passing through this 
gate and paying toll to do so. The last 
toll gate keeper was Mrs. Stephen 

There are many persons in Rockaway 
today who remember the destruction of 
the Pavilion. Gunpowder was used to 
blow up adjoining structures to prevent 
the fire spreading. 

The daily arrival of the stage coach at 
the Pavilion was an event of consider- 
able importance, and the crack of the 
driver's whip as he wheeled his four- 
in-hand team driving up in style to the 
imposing entrance, was the signal for 
all hands to turn out to welcome the 

It was after the Pavilion was opened 
that sea bathing became fashionab'e 
and the first caterers to this rejuvenat- 

ing exercise were Benjamin C. Lock- 
wood and John L. Norton. They provid- 
ed bath houses on wheels after the Eng- 
lish style. In these, bathers changed 
their dress, were pulled into the surf 
by horses hitched on for the purpose 
and when the bath house was hauled in 
to a suflicient depth, the horses were 
taken ofi: and the bath houses left in 
the water until bathers signified their 
desire to be hauled back to the beach. 
This method of bathing, which enabled 
persons to enter the water direct from 
bathing houses, would probably not find 
much favor today with the large num- 
ber of bathers who seem to find more 
delight in the sun and sand bath on the 
beach in scanty attire than in the real 
and healthful ocean bathing. The old 
ways have changed and instead of the 
old cumbersome house on wheels the 
ocean front is provided with many 
thousands of bath houses used in the 
summer months and built row after row 
on land adjacent to the beach. 

The Marine Pavilion attracted atten- 
tion to the Rockaways throughout the 
Union. Other commodious hotels were 
built here and included United States 
Hotel, Caffrey's Hotel, Wynn's Alham- 
bra, Maguire's Ocean Hotel, New 
York Hotel, Roche's Union Surf, the 
Pavilion, the Brunswick, the Hoffman, 
Foss', Finucan's Mansion House, Fa- 
ber's Manhattan Hotel, Ducher's, the 
Arlington, the Madison, National, 
Grove, Grand, Waverly, St. James, the 
Shirley House and several others; in 
fact the place became a village of hotels 
catering to the needs of summer visit- 
ors. It was about the middle of last 
century that it was first called Far 
Rockaway to distinguish it from Near 




Rockaway, which is now called East 

The steam railroad constructed to Far 
Rockaway in 1869 superseded the old 
stage coach and advanced values and 
development wonderfully. It was first 
intended for the railroad to enter Far 
Rockaway through woods about where 
Oak street is now cut, and so on dovv'n 
to the beach in a line parallel with what 
is now Greenwood avenue. Mr. Wynn, 
who kept the Alhambra Hotel, antici- 
pating the line passing his place, paint- 
ed a sign calling it "Railroad Hotel," 
but owing to the gift by Benjamin Mott 
of the site of the present station and 
seven acres of land, the direction of the 
route (and as many persons think the 
whole future of the village) was 

Up to a little before this time the only 
roads in Far Rockaway consisted of 
Broadway, being the old turnpike lead- 
ing through to the beach as it does to- 
day, Greenwood avenue, Cornaga ave- 
nue, Mott's lane and Catherine street. 


William Caffrey, who was 19 years 
old when he came from Ireland in 1834, 
first worked as a laboring man, but in 
1844 opened Far Rockaway's first store 
on Greenwood avenue and later ran the 
Transatlantic Hotel on the same avenue. 
There were then only about half a dozen 
houses besides the Pavilion. Mott 
avenue, from Broadway to the present 
railroad crossing, was called "Dan 

Mott's" lane, and from there to Jamaica 
Bay "Aunt Sally's" lane, after Sally 
Mott, who resided in the old house, now 
the Seaman cottage, and which later 
came to be known as "Aunt Sally's but- 
termilk house," on account of that re- 
freshing liquid which she sold there to 


visitors. This is the oldest house in 
Far Rockaway. 

Catherine street was that portion of 
the present Central avenue starting at 
Mott avenue proceeding to the ocean 
and ending at the first Catholic church 
field and was named after Mrs. Cath- 
erine Finucan. Another early store was 
kept by E. A. Darragh, in the woods, 
where Cornaga avenue is now, and 
White street was named after his wife's 
mother, Mrs. White. 

Simultaneous with the coming of the 
South Side Railroad, Central avenue 
was cut through from Mott's lane to the 
city line, about 1871, and connected with 
Lawrence. The first railroad stop in 
Far Rockaway was on the present 
siding close to the National Bank. 
There was no shelter or platform of any 
kind until the present line was used and 
the extension made to Rockaway Beach. 
The railroad siding passing in a line 
parallel with and between Grove street 
and Central avenue led to Lockwood's 
Grove, a famous pleasure park, which 
was later laid out in plots with the 
beautiful Wave Crest development. 



Far Rockaway at that period had two 
churches, a school, a number of hotels 
and a few stores and cottages. 

The following is a complete list of 
residents about fifty years ago : — 

Daniel Mott, Benjamin B. Mott (Lit- 
tle Ben) , Samuel Mott, Lucy Mott, Sally 
Mott, Joseph Stringham (the hermit), 
Lawrence Duncan, Calvin Mott, Richard 
Mott, John Mott, "Pop" Finucan, Mar- 
tin Zingzam, Thomas D. Smith, John 
Wynn, David Roche, Patrick Mulry, 
William Caffrey, James McCarthy, 
James Hickej', John Bell, "Long" Ben 
Mott, John Kavanagh, Julius Foss, 
Joseph McKim, James Sadlier, John Mc- 
Kune, John Kelly, Patrick McTigue, 
McCale, Norton Carroll, John H. Chee- 

then it all formed part of Far RocK- 

The physicians practising in the 
Rockaways then were Dr. Julius Auer- 
bach. Dr. Robert Hutcheson and Dr. 
Robert Bazeley of East Rockaway. 

Definite sections were soon mapped 
out and development proceeded rapidly. 
The headland, overlooking the ocean, 
was laid out as a private park, called 
Wave Crest, and numerous fine resi- 
dences were built there. In this section 
such well known men as Horace F. 
Clark, Edward N. Dickerson, E. A. 
Erinkeroff, Miles O'Brien, Martin B. 
Brown, John H. Cheever, Henry D. Bab- 
cock, and School Commissioner William 
Lummis, made their homes. Other sec- 


ver, Edward N. Dickerson, Horace F. 
Clark, Judge Charles A. Donahue, 
Thomas Casey, Andrew Brady, Robert 
Elderd, Philip Hone, Richard Bain- 
bridge, John S. Crary, James M. Brown, 
Mrs. Bull, William H. Bolton, David 
Jennings, David Andrews, Mott Pettit, 
Gilbert Craft, Venus Hewlett, John 
Abrams, Mrs. Margaret Hartford, John 
J. Healy, E. A. Darragh, Patrick 
Griffin, Patrick Kane, Firman Pearsall, 
John Lyons, James Mooney, George 
Hicks, Charles McNeill, John Lott and 
Franklin D. Lord. 

A few of these residents lived in what 
v/e now call Inwood and Lawrence, but 

tions grew rapidly; several magnificent 
residences were built along Broadway 
ajid in the Cedar Lawn section, near 
Jarvis lane; several lakes, including 
Cutting's Pond, near the present gas 
house and Isaac Remsen's ice ponds at 
Chanler and Butler avenues, were filled 
in; the school house was enlarged and 
land in all parts of the present village 
which was then thickly covered with 
trees, was cleared for the building of 
houses and roadways. Most of what 
is now known as the Bayswater section 
was laid out about 1878 by William 
Trist Bailey, who purchased the prop- 
erty from J. B. and W. W. Cornell. 


Here it was that the first Rockaway 
Hunt with hounds started and the first 
yacht club was organized. John Cor- 
naga, who served under the British in 


the Revolutionary War, had settled in 
the same section. His son sold in 1848 
to Calvin S. Mott, who in turn sold to 
John J. Healy. This is property now 
called Salomon's Castle, and the former 
site of the largest of the shell banks. 

In addition to the prosperity brought 
by the large number of summer visit- 
ors, building activities on all sides add- 
ed many workmen and employers, either 
temporarily or permanently, to the win- 
ter population and stores and small cot- 
tages began to be built to accommodate 
the growing needs. It had been the 
practice of some residents in previous 
years to order food and other necessary 
articles to be brought by stage. Others 
obtained a weekly supply brought by 
boat. Several Inwood boatmen for 
years supplied most of the needs of 
the section. They visited Brooklyn and 
New York weekly in their steam 
launches and returned with ample sup- 

The first combined effort for improve- 
ments was an association formed in 
1880 "to plant trees, improve streets 
and walks, water streets, etc." In that 
>ear Edmund J. Healy, who was Justice 
of the Peace for the Town of Hemp- 
stead, built a court house on Mott 

avenue, where justice was administered 
by him. The system of water supply 
by individual wells began to be super- 
seded when the first water company's 
supply was established in 1885. The 
village had by that time grown so large 
that a charter of incorporation was ap- 
plied for and issued in 1888, when the 
following village officials were chosen: 
Edmund J. Healy, president; Benjamin 
B. Mott, F. L. Richmond and Joseph P. 
Kelly, trustees; William A. Wynn, treas- 
urer; Benjamin C. Lockwood, collector, 
and J. Joseph Mott, village clerk. 

At the time of its incorporation the 
village had a lock-up and two police- 
men and was lighted by oil lamps in the 
thoroughfares where stores existed. 
Otherwise there was no lighting sys- 
tem. Cesspools were the only means 
of drainage. Streets were not graded 
or paved and while the summer time 
provided a golden harvest for all, win- 
ter weather provided many real hard- 
ships. The Volunteer Fire Department 
consisted of the Protective Hook and 
Ladder Company and the Oceanic and 
Mohawk Hose companies. The Atlan- 
tic Hose Company No. 1 of Far Rocka- 
way was the first fire company in the 
village and is shown on the picture 
illustrated, which was taken in 1879. 
Shortly after incorporation a sewer 


system was urged, to be paid for by 
funds raised on village bonds and ex- 
pended under the supervision of the 
Sewer Commission. Local politics pre- 
vented the adoption of any such sys- 
tem, for several years, and it was not 
until 1897 that a sewer system was laid 
and disposal plant built. The village 
trustees also contracted with the gas 
company for the main streets to be 
lighted with gas, and various main 
thoroughfares were paved and curbed 
by the village officials after incorpora- 



Judge Healy served three consecu- 
tive years as village president and was 
succeeded in that office by William 
Wynn, Andrew McTigue, Philip Scott 
and Brockholst Carroll. 

The first post office in Far Rockaway, 
after Jennings' corner ceased to be 
post office for the village, was at Bran- 
denberg's Swiss cottage, opposite Clark 
avenue, on Broadway. James Branden- 
berg was first village postmaster. Oth- 
ers who followed him were Eugene 
Frank Cole, Edward Nostrand, David 

Far Rockaway, with the incorporated 
villages of Arverne-by-the-Sea and 
Rockaway Beach, were made the Fifth 
Ward of the Borough of Queens, gov- 
erned by the Mayor of New York. 

Justice of the Peace Edmund J. 
Healy was appointed city magistrate, 
and it is interesting to note that 
Thomas I. Conerty, who was then ap- 
pointed magistrate's clerk: Harry 
Vaughn, court interpreter, and John J. 
Healy, assistant clerk, still hold those 
positions under the city. 

hidt^i^ .-r-^^',, . 

^^^^-^•&.' -.#J^ 





Left to right: B. L. Carroll, R. H. Griffin, Ben West, J. Caffrey, Edward Roche, 
Jack Mimnaugh, .J. Spellman, -James Brandenberg, M. Dwyer, Ben Harnett, Mike 
O'Brien, Edward Canning, J. Coleman and Thomas Prendergast. 

Jennings, Thomas Henderson, Andrew 
McTigue and Dr. Henry J. France. 

After incorporation the civic spirit 
and advancement was the cause of 
many community improvements. A 
local bank was established; stores and 
storekeepers became very progressive; 
the local newspaper, the "Rockaway 
Journal," under the late Watkin W. 
Jones' management, was a real help 
to the village; the first part of the 
present fine school house was built, re- 
ligious bodies of various denominations 
organized and enlarged their spheres 
of action ; transit facilities were im- 
proved with the growing demands; 
water and gas companies were formed; 
telephone services generally were in- 
stalled, and the essentials of local gov- 
ernment and the locally governed be- 
came established and created a real, 
if small, city by the sea. 

At the height of its properity the 
village lost its individuality and was 
absorbed in Greater New York when 
that city was created on January 1st, 
1898. Most of the local officials re- 
tired to private life and the village of 

The old school house, the site of 
which had been given solely for that 
I'urpose by Benjamin B. Mott, was re- 
leased from this restriction in 1893 
when the Union Free District school on 
State street was built, and was used 
as a village hall until consolidation, 
then for a few months as a police sta- 
tion, and after August, when the pres- 
ent police station on Broadway was 
used, it became the Magistrates' Court, 
and so remains. 

Since consolidation the prosperity of 
the village has not increased as in 
former years. All the sections have 
become built up with cottages, resi- 
dences and hotels ranging in value 
from $3,000 to $50,000; transit facili- 
ties leave little to be desired, beyond 
elimination of the dangerous grade 
crossings ; the permanent population 
and the number of summer visitors 
have increased greatly; amusements 
and entertainments are plentifully pro- 
vided ; there are many more stores ; yet, 
the spirit of civic pride has greatly 
waned. The more intelligent, and 
those who have the best interests of 



the place really at heart although al- 
ways working hard for betterment, are 
apathetic in local elections, knowing 
the futility of trying to make them- 
selves heard or being properly repre- 
sented in the councils of the Greater 
City, in order to secure greatly need- 
ed improvements. The consequence is 
that the old spirit of emulation and in- 
terest in affairs of the village, does not 
exist with the class of men needed and 
the same class as formerly, so that lo- 
cal politics are in the hands of men 
whose mentality and ability are not 
of the highest order. 

There are no large employers of la- 
bor in Far Rockaway, which is a resi- 
dential village. Some of the perma- 
nent residents work in New York City 
and "commute" daily; others are in- 
dependent, and a large number own 
houses which they rent out in the sum- 
mer time and occupy during the win- 
ter. There are four churches, two 
synagogues, a splendidly equipped and 
spacious hospital conducted by the Sis- 
ters of St. Joseph; two banks; three 
newspapers; many spacious and elab- 
orate hotels; a cable terminal where the 
Atlantic cables reach the shores of 
America; the Ocean Country Club and 
golf clubs ; the Bayswater Yacht and 
Golf clubs; numerous tennis clubs; nu- 
merous public garages; moving picture 
theatres; numerous splendid stores 
offering a complete market center, and a 
post office. 

The 279th precinct police station and 
lock-up are located at Broadway oppo- 
site Mott avenue, and 44 men, including 
captain and lieutenants, are permanent- 
ly stationed there and the precinct ex- 
tends from the Lawrence and Inwood 
boundaries to Cronin's crossing at 

The city fire department is housed 
in a fine brick building on Central 
avenue and has the latest motor appara- 
tus as well as horse drawn equipment. 
Twenty-three firemen are always sta- 
tioned at this fire house. 

The estimated permanent population 
of Far Rockaway (including Edgemere 
and the Half Way House sections) is 
11,000 persons. 

Local places of interest are the vari- 
ous churches, public library, St. Mary's 
Star-of-the-Sea Academy, St. Joseph's 
Convent, the Seaman cottage on Mott 
avenue, the ancient Cornell Burying 

Ground on Greenwood avenue, and the 
beautiful beach. 

The Indian Shell Banks. 

Up to twenty years ago there was a 
number of shell banks in the peninsula. 
There are still signs of the banks on 
the marshes of Woodmere Bay. Other 
banks existed at Inwood, Hog Island 
(Barnum's Island) and Far Rockaway. 

The Far Rockaway shell bank was 
enormous and must have contained 
many thousand tons of clam shells. It 
was located at Bayswater on Judge 
Healys' property, but was carted away 
and used for filling in purposes and 
road making. 

The belief exists that these shell 
banks mark the former feasting places 
of the Indians, who consumed, on those 
occasions, tremendous quantities of 
clams. When dried, these clam shells 
were made into wampum, which was the 
Indian equivalent for money. 

Secret Ballot First Tested in Village. 

Far Rockaway achieved state wide 
fame on September 9th, 1890, when it 
was the scene of the first test of the 
new election law which enforced secret 
ballots. Judge Healy was the first 
voter, and the voting took place in the 
Court room (now Hetzel's Old Court 
House Hotel), on Mott avenue. Rep- 
resentatives of all the great daily news- 
papers of New York were present, as 
well as many politicians of note at that 
day, and we copy extracts from news- 
paper reports which give a fairly vivid 
relation of the scenes which took place: 
"The first election under the new 
Ballot Reform law was held yesterday 
in. the incorporated village of Far 
Rockaway, in the town of Hempstead, 
Queens County. 

"A large number of New York poli- 
ticians went down to see how the re- 
form worked, and the whole village, 
including the babies, were more or 
less present to see the important 
voters do the important act. 

"Yesterday's election may be called 
an experimental election in this State. 
The provisions of the law were not 
strictly observed. The public was al- 
lowed to occupy the space in front of 



Some Pioneers in Civic Development of the Community 











the bar. Moreover the act says that 
no electioneering- shall go on within 
one hundred and fifty feet of the poll- 
ing place, and that was utterly disre- 
garded. It must be so in every local- 
ity where there is no police to see that 
the law is carried out. 

"It was very curious to see the can- 
didates who were running for office, 
acting as inspectors, clerks and can- 
vassers. It is according to the village 
charter and the same system prevails 
in some other towns. It is an anom- 
aly and the attention of the Legisla- 
ture may be called to it next year. 
Not that there was anj' 'crooked' work 
yesterday, for the contest seemed to 
be carried on fairlj' and squarely, 
though with warmth. Still there was 
nothing to prevent ballot box stuffing 
or doing the 'three card monte' act 
with the ballots. At times there was 
considerable confusion when chal- 
lengers at the bar were shouting to 
the ballot clerk, and at these times it 
would have been easy for the receiver 
to have deposited the wrong ballot. 

"The Ballot Clerk was F. L. Rich- 
mond, the Poll Clerk Joseph J. Molt; 
the Chairman, Nathaniel B. Day. 

"At 1:13 President Healey an- 
nounced: 'Gentlemen, the Trustees 
have given me the courtesy to cast the 
first ballot under the new law.' He 
selected a ballot and repaired to the 
booth. Immediately after ex-Assem- 
blymen Hines and Cronin followed, 
nines reappeared within half a min- 
ute and deposited his vote. Cronin 
was in the booth only thirty-five sec- 
onds. Healey was slow. He was in a 
minute and a half. Then he appeared, 
and, discovering that he had made a 
mistake, he disappeared again for 
half a minute to perfect his ballot. It 
was then learned that the inspector of 
election had failed to put his initials 
on Mr. Healey's ballot. Hines ambled 
back to the booth and Cronin discov- 
ered he had left his ballots on resolu- 
tions behind him. No attention what- 
ever was paid to the printed instruc- 
tions. The rule making it obligatory 
for every voter to remain in the booth 
three minutes was flagrantly violated. 
Not one voter for the first half hour 
had the faintest idea how to fold his 
ballot. Voters would saunter out 
with ballots in their hands, walk 
around the room, consult with their 

friends, and end the proceedings by 
presenting the ballots to the inspec- 

"A man named Smith had been 
making himself conspicuously noisy 
for half an hour. He had been eject- 
ed from the space inside the rail and 
taken up a reclining position on top 
of it, where he held forth, assisted 
now and then by his cronies, Hines 
and Cronin. He now demanded to be 
allowed to enter a booth and prepare 
a ballot for one James Finley, the 
ancient mariner of Hog Island, a 
modern reproduction of Capt. Cuttle, 
on the ground that Finley was physi- 
cally incapable. The only thing the 
matter with Finley was that he was 
drunk and had lost his sea legs. But 
he could read and write, he informed 
the Commissioners, and he was given 
a ballot. An old fellow named Mullin 
now boisterously forced his way into 
the voting space and proceeded to 
make a speech. He proceeded as far 
as 'it is my ambition,' when he was 
grabbed by the throat and hurled bod- 
ily out. 

"Smith again became offensive. He 
was manifestly against Healey, and 
lost no opportunity to display his an- 
tagonism. He brought forth three 
men, Finley, Martin Welch and 
Thomas McTigue. 'These men can't 
write and they want my assistance. 
They are physically incapable.' The 
inspectors claimed that they must 
vote without Smith's assistance. Old 
Finley had in the meantime stumbled 
out of the booth. Smith called him 
over and talked for a minute or two. 
The voter finally left him, tacked 
toward the ballot box, changed his 
mind, and, ballot in hand, staggered 
out. Smith's other friends had ob- 
tained their ballots, but when the in- 
spectors refused to allow him to ar- 
range them. Smith ordered them to 
leave the room. To the most dis- 
interested observer it was apparent 
by this time that nothing would be 
left undone to frustrate the opera- 
tions of the law. 

"Within twenty minutes this con- 
tingent, with Finley at their head, 
had returned. They had been taken 
out and instructed. Each held in his 
hand a crumpled ballot. Finley stag- 
gered in first, and threw his ballot in 
front of the inspectors. 'There it is,' 



Some Pioneers in Civic Development of the Community 









he stammered. 'Great Heavens!' ex- 
claimed Smith, 'he's giving up the 
ticket we marked for him!' Then, 
turning to the other men. Smith 
yelled : 'Vote the ticket with the paster 
on.' And again : 'Put your paster on 
one of those tickets. Go back in the 
booth and use your paster.' By this 
time the inspectors' patience was ex- 
hausted and they forthwith ejected 
Finley and his three confederates. 

"When it came to the counting of 
the votes, the simplicity of the con- 
ditions of this trial was again in fa- 
vor of the election officers. They can- 
vassed the five-name tickets by offices, 
handling each ballot five times, and 
announcing the result of the contest 
for each office as soon as it was 
reached. They were two hours count- 
ing the 306 votes that were cast in five 
hours and six minutes, of which fifty- 

five were cast in the first hour. The 
result was: 

"For President — Edmund J. Healy, 
163; Joseph McKim, 140; blank, 3. 
"For Trustee, two years — William 

A. Wynn, 295; blank, 8. 

"For Trustee, one year — Nathaniel 

B. Day, 120; Andrew McTigue, 180; 
blank, 4. 

"For Treasurer — Samuel B. Alt- 
hause, Jr., 163; L. T. Mulhearn, 155; 
blank, 6. 
For Collector— B. C. Lockwood, 304. 

"One of the resolutions, for raising 
a tax of $15,000, was carried by a ma- 
jority of one. 

"The watchers at the canvass were 
D. L. Starks, W. W. Jones, B. Smith 
and Louis Walters. 

"Judge Healy said it was one of the 
quietest elections they had had and a 
great improvement on the old sys- 


The beach at Far Rockaway, and for 
many miles east and west, is undergoing 
frequent local changes. Many times the 
surf washes away several rods in width 
during a single storm, and perhaps the 
next storm adds more than has been re- 
moved by the preceding one. The sea 
often makes inlets to the bays and 
marshes, and as often fills up others, 
and for this reason, if no other, it is 
impossible to correctly give a geographi- 
cal history of this section. The flow of 
the ocean is from east to west and while 
thousands of tons of sand are frequent- 
ly washed away at easterly points and 
entrances to inlets and small harbors, 
this sand is deposited on and adds to 
the westerly portions of the same 

The bathing beach of the village 
Avhich, of course, is the greatest at- 
traction to the enormous number of 
summer visitors, was not always as it is 
today. Up to fifteen years ago the bath- 
ing beach v\-as separated from the vil- 
lage beach proper by Far Rockaway Bay 
and Inlet, and it was on this outer 

beach, or Hog Island as it was called on 
account of its resemblance to a hog's 
back, that a large number of bath 
houses, owned variously by Friel, 
Wynn, Caffrey, Gipson, Lockwood and 
Smith, were erected. The outer beach, 
about one thousand feet off shore, was 
reached from the mainland by ferry 
boats. One of these was operated along 
a cable and another by sailboats, each 
being run by the bathing house proprie- 
tors, a fare of five cents per passenger 
being charged. 

The outer beach was formed grad- 
ually by the ocean depositing sand on 
its westward sweep from Long Beach. 
Years ago the ocean came up to where 
Mr. Roche's tennis courts now are and 
laved the shore adjoining Roche's 
Tack-a-pou-sha Hotel, Caffrey's "Ku- 
loff" and the United States Hotel. 
When the outer beach became perma- 
nent enough, its commercial possibili- 
ties were quickly taken advantage of, 
and, in addition to its bathing and pic- 
nic attractions, two or three restau- 
rants furnishing refreshments and en- 



tertainment were established. One 
such place, owned by Patrick Craig, 
was much frequented by Tammany 
Hall politicians who, in the summer 
time, made Hog Island the scene of their 
deliberations, as the Indians of old 
time had made the other Hog Island, 
now Barnum's Island in Woodmere 
Bay, the scene of their pow wows. Many 
conferences of great import to New 
York Citj^ took place in this out-of-doors 
annex to Tammany Hall, and it was at 
this time that the village was called 
familiarly in certain political circles, 
the Irish Saratoga. 

During a great storm in the fall of 
1893, the outer beach disappeared be- 
neath the waves and every vestige of 
it and of all the buildings upon it was 
totally destroyed. Where one day had 
appeared this excellent pleasure resort 
of many thousands of people, which 
thousands of dollars had been invested 
upon, next day nothing was to be seen 
except an unbroken surface of water. 
Father Neptune had claimed his own 
again, but fortunately had taken no toll 
in human lives. 

The beach is again forming, however, 
and may yet be used as it formerly was, 
but now there is no Inlet, as then exist- 
ed, flowing through Wave Crest and 
into Jamaica Bay. The beautiful Wave 
Crest lake, as it was termed, was filled 
in about ten years ago when Frederick 
J. Lancaster's company opened up the 

principal establishment is that of Ed- 
ward Eoche and is illustrated herewith. 
It has two thousand modern sanitary 
bathhouses located directly at the 
beach and every comfort and conven- 
ience of bathers, old or young, male or 
female, is thoughtfully catered to. On 
the beach itself are comfortable chairs 
and shades, refreshment and cigar 


booths, shower baths, manicuring and 
hot salt water baths; there is a large 
parkway for automobiles ; several splen- 
did tennis courts, and above all a great 
stretch of glorious sandy beach. At 
certain times a small steamboat, the 
Oysterette, takes bathers without 
charge to the new sand bar now form- 
ing out in the ocean. And lastly, the 
pleasure seeker, gently tired from the 


Edgemere section as a real estate de- 

The bathing facilities formerly af- 
forded on Hog Island are far outclassed 
by the splendid modern bathhouse 
plants at Far Rockaway Beach. The 

day's enjoyments in the health-giving 
ozone, may board an electric trolley car 
almost outside his bathing house and 
in a few minutes be transported to the 
main part of the village or to the rail- 
road depot. 





The Edgemere section of Far Rock- 
away was first opened up and developed 
by Frederick J. Lancaster in 1892, The 
road between Arverne and Far Rocka- 
way had then been made, but only two 
or three houses existed in the whole 
area, which was a sandy waste, the 
only building of any pretension west 
of Wave Crest being the Half Way 
House, a hostelry. 

Mr. Lancaster first called the place 
New Venice, but this was later changed 
to Edgemere, and is so called today. In 
addition to filling the marsh lands in 
and making roads, the magnificent 

parish of St. Mary's at Far Rockaway. 
A large area of land north of the rail- 
road tracks has been filled in, graded 
and sold ofi: in building lots. 

The Edgemere section is greatly ex- 
posed and although that fact renders 
it a most desirable summer resort and 
many fine houses have been built, there 
are very few winter residents. 

The Half Way House section, extend- 
ing from a point west of the railroad 
station to the Arverne boundary, was a 
summer tent colony up to five years ago. 
Since that time various real estate de- 
velopers have filled the land in on the 


Edgemere Club or Hotel was built. This 
was at the ocean front and near the In- 
let. The hotel was equipped and fur- 
nished on a lavish scale and opened in 
1894. At that time the beautiful Wave 
Crest lake existed and connected Far 
Rockaway Bay with Norton's Creek and 
Jamaica Bay. The lake and the Inlet 
were later filled in to make more build- 
ing lots. The early development of 
Edgemere was slow but during the past 
few years there have been numerous 
sales, and a large number of houses, a 
few stores, and several high-class sum- 
mer hotels, erected. The Roman Cath- 
olic Mission of St. Gertrude was opened 
at the pretty church built in 1911 near 
the railroad station, and is part of the 

ocean and bay sides of the railroad 
ti'acks, and there are now hundreds of 
small frame houses and bungalows and 
a chain of stores. Those on the ocean 
side are essentially for summer use, but 
many of the houses on the Boulevard 
side of the track are occupied during 
the summer and winter. There is a fine 
modern hotel, the Half Way House, 
owned and conducted by Richard N. 
Noland, who is also the leading and 
most aggressive worker for the sec- 
tion. He originated the Half Way 
House Improvement Society which suc- 
ceeded in getting the Long Island rail- 
road trains to stop at that station 
during the summer months. 









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PRIOR to the year 1882 there 
were no houses in the sec- 
tion now known as Arverne, 
excepting two or three fishermen's 
shacks. In that year four men erect- 
ed houses. William Scheer built the 
first house, and soon afterwards Freder- 
ick Bessler, Martin Meyer and Reming- 
ton Vernam built two more houses each. 

The first house built by Mr. Scheer 
stood about 500 feet south of the present 
boulevard on Cedar avenue, which, with 
Wave Crest avenue, became the first 
street in Arverne. At that time the 
section was a sandy waste, in parts of 
which grew a number of cedar trees. 
The gentlemen named, like others, had 
purchased land in Arverne, being at- 
tracted by its wonderfully vitalizing 
atmosphere and easy accessibility to the 
city. In those days a clear title to prop- 
erty in the section was a very scarce 
thing, and the services of lawyers were 
in great demand to clear up the difficul- 
ties. It is well known that many law- 
yers made a great deal of money by spe- 
cializing in clearing up "cloudy" titles, 
and some of them became both owners 
and lawyers in the same transactions. 
Remington Vernam, a New York attor- 
ney, was apparently one of the latter 
class, and he had a great deal to do with 
the development of Arverne. The place 
was named after him, "R. Vernam." 

Several purchasers of property in Ar- 
verne, including Mr. Scheer, paid for the 
same property more than once. This 
was occasioned by their having been in- 
duced to buy property from "squatters," 
only to find, after parting with their 
money, that their title was not market- 
able, and they would have to buy from 
persons deriving title under the Cornell 
partition suit. 

The section now known as Arvern3, 
and Edgemere were the last parts of the 
peninsula to be improved. Remington 
Vernam took up his residence at Ar- 
verne, and, after much bartering, bar- 
gaining, compromising and suing, be- 
came the owner of considerable areas 
which he speculated in, and sold off in 
smaller lots. 

William Scheer, a wealthy resident, in 

straightening out the title to land he had 
already purchased, became, somewhat un- 
willingly, purchaser of a large area. He 
aided his early neighbors who had faulty 
titles to substantiate them. He retained 
and built up about two blocks for him- 
self and then sold the remainder to Ver- 
nam for a nominal sum. 

Another early developer was William 
H. Amerman, who unexpectedly discov- 
ered that he owned a strip of land 800 
feet in width running from ocean to bay. 
It appeared that in 1837, during the 
plague of cholera then prevalent, Mr. 
Amerman's father had purchased this 
land from the Cornell heirs, laid in a 
stock of food and isolated himself and 
returned to New York and apparently 
forgotten he ever owned the land. Many 
years later, when attention was attract- 
ed to the seashore, Mr. Amerman was 
attracted with it and discovered his own- 
ership. He built several houses and still 
owns a portion of his father's original 

Vernam and other owners set men to 
work leveling sand dunes, filling holes, 
clearing up and straightening the old 
sand path and making the property more 
attractive to intending purchasers and 
home seekers. 

The Rockaway Railway, a steam route, 
branch of the South Side Railroad, was 
running an infrequent train service 
through Arverne between Far Rockaway 
and Rockaway Beach, on tracks laid par- 
allel with and near to the ocean front, 
about 100 feet south of the present bou- 

Numerous wealthy residents of New 
York were attracted to Arverne and built 
fine houses. Gas and water mains were 
laid and streets mapped out. Ocean ave- 
nue was the name given to the main thor- 
oughfare, and in 1887 the Long Island 
Railroad Company, which succeeded the 
South Side, was induced to remove its 
tracks to the present track bed, and a 
station called Arverne was located at 
Gaston avenue which became the centre 
of the village. The former nearest stop 
was Atlantic Park, a seaside hotel run 
by Mr. John Kreuscher. The railway 
company had been promised a quit claim 



to the site by Vernam, but it was not 
delivered to them and they erected an- 
other station further east at Straiten 
avenue, where all trains stopped instead 
of at Gaston avenue. This expedited the 
development of the easterly end of the 

vious to this the inlet at Wave Crest, and 
the boggy land intervening, rendered 
communication between these places dif-, 
ficult, and sometimes impossible. A 
boardwalk three feet above the beach 
level, was also constructed by property 





village very greatly. The old residents 
objected to the stoppage of trains at 
Gaston avenue, and retained the services 
of the late Mayor of New York City, for- 
mer Judge William J. Gaynor, to fight 
for a renewal of the service. Judge Gay- 
nor waged a sharp but successful fight 
against the railroad company, which was 
ordered to renew the interrupted service. 

owners about 300 feet north of the pres- 
ent boardwalk. This walk held the sand, 
became covered and made more beach for 
the owners, who soon afterwards erected 
another similar walk nearer the ocean, 
which again made more beach. 

An ambitious project was the building 
of the Arverne Hotel in 1888. This was 
an imposing structure located on Rem- 

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The Gaston avenue station continued to 
be the main station until 1912, when the 
present station was built. 

About the same time, in 1886, a road- 
way was built connecting Far Rockaway 
with Arverne and Rockaway Beach. Pre- 

ington avenue at the ocean front. The 
building was, and is, one of the largest 
in the Rockaways. It was estimated 
to cost $60,000 but before it was com- 
pleted it is said the total outlay was 
iibout $200,000. 



The summer train service was gradu- 
ally improved and the place became a 
fashionable summer resort. Many 
wealthy families occupied summer homes 
find building proceeded in all directions. 
Stores were erected in the vicinity of the 
two railroad stations, and in 1888, a 
Protestant church fronting Ocean ave- 
nue was built with funds raised by pub- 
lic subscription, on land given for that 
purpose exclusively, by William H. Amer- 
man. The church was known as the 
"Union Church," erected for the use of 
any and all Protestant denominations, 
who were ministered to during the sum- 
mer months by visiting clergymen. This 
was the only Christian church ever in 
Arverne. With the influx of the He- 
brew population the church fell into dis- 
use, and the structure was moved to the 
Crippled Children's Home in Summer- 
field avenue some months ago and con- 
verted into an extension of the home. 

The delights and benefits of surf bath- 
ing became increasingly popular and the 
beautiful Arverne beach, clean and gently 
sloping, free from treacherous currents, 
became the chief attraction. To accom- 
modate the thousands of bathers of both 
sexes, numerous large bath houses were 
erected on and adjacent to the beach, and 
formed one of the principal sources of 

With the advance of the place, and a 
corresponding increase in the number 
of residents, a sense of civic pride im- 
pelled them to combine in order to ef- 
fect permanent improvements. 

Towards the end of 1895 a meeting of 
residents was held at the house of the 
late Benjamin Lichenstein for the pur- 
pose of voting on a petition to incor- 
porate the village. There were then 
about 125 residents and they decided to 
incorporate. A charter was granted the 
same year under the name of Arverne- 
by-the-Sea. The officers elected were: 
John R. Waters, president; William 
Scheer, Isidor Stern and Henry Toste- 
vin, trustees; Henry E. Knight, treas- 
urer, and Adolphus E. Karelsen, village 
clerk. The same gentlemen remained in 
office until the village was consolidated 
with the remainder of the Fifth Ward 
in Greater New York, January 1st, 
1898. The most important work accom- 
plished by the village board was in 1897. 
when they raised, by issuing bonds, the 
sum of $200,000 with which they e.stab- 
lished grades at all street crossings, laid 

sewers, curbed streets, lighted them by 
gas lamps, and made and extended Ocean 
avenue beyond Storm avenue toward 
Edgemere. Arverne streets are laid on 
a model plan, running north and south, 
200 feet apart. 

In the years 1900-1901 the Arverne 
boardwalk was built by the various ocean 
front owners, with one or two exceptions 
and these were made up by the other 
ocean front owners. This was an ele- 
vated timber structure built on spiles 
high above the water at high tide, and is 
a famous ocean promenade. It is about 
three-quarters of a mile in length and 
has fronting it several blocks of stores, 
bathing houses and open beaches. Many 
people there are who claim that the 
boardwalk was always Arverne's greatest 
asset. It is a delightful place, affording 
views of the broad Atlantic ocean and 
enjoyment of the pure ozone wafted in. 

Arverne came into the heyday of its 
popularity about this time. Pleasure and 
familyhotels and boardinghousessprang 
up all around, a greatly accelerated train 
service was secured, private coaching 
parties from Brooklyn and Long Island 
made the village their resort, ^and a 
large and handsome theatre was built 
south of the boardwalk over the ocean. 
This theatre, which had a seating ca- 
pacity of 800, and was thoroughly 
equipped with a large stage, was com- 
pletely washed away on the night of 
January 5th, 1914, during a violent storm 
which tore up the ends of many streets, 
washed away several houses and par- 
tially wrecked the boardwalk. Persons 
who had seen the theatre intact on the 
preceding night were unable to find a 
vestige of the structure next morning, 
excepting half a dozen of those spiles 
which supported it. 

The boardwalk has many times suf- 
fered damage by violent storms, and al- 
though always repaired, should be re- 
placed with a new walk. 

As the section south of the railroad 
tracks rapidly filled up, Vernam turned 
his attention to the marsh lands north 
and running to Jamaica Bay. This tract 
was considerably larger than the older 
section of Arverne. Filling in opera- 
tions were commenced and the task 
proved to be a gigantic one. Vernam 
died in 1907, after having shortly be- 
fore his demise sold the entire section to 
the Somerville Realty Company, which 
immediately proceeded to bulkhead the 



property, fill it in with sand pumped 
from the bay, and lay out modern streets 
with parkways. This property is now 
known as Somerville Park and is so 
named after its developers. Where ten 
years ago existed swamps and marsh 
lands there are now stores, upwards of 
two hundred cottages and valuable com- 
mercial dock front lots. 

Five years ago, William Scheer caused 
a large tract of land owned by him north 
of the tracks, adjoining Somerville Park, 
bounded by Jamiaca Bay on the west 
and Somerville Park on the east, to be 
bulkheaded and filled in to a high grade. 
The immediate future of this section is 

There are no manufactures or indus- 
tries and the prosperity of the place de- 
pends entirely upon the patronage from 
summer visitors who are attracted by the 
bathing, boating and fishing but above 
all by the wonderful health-giving and 
invigorating climate. The summer car- 
nivals, until recently held at Arverne, 
were among the earliest, most elaborate, 
and best-known throughout the country. 

There has been a government life-sav- 
ing station at Arverne for more than 
forty-five years past, the first keeper hav- 
ing been Daniel B. Mott. It is now 
termed the Coast Guard Station and is 
at the easterly end of the village. There 

pregnant with large commercial possi- 
bilities, as much of this property has 
frontage to deep and navigable water. 

The Somerville Improvement Society 
efficiently looks after the territory north 
of the tracks. Its officers are Frederick 
W. Avery, president; Arnold Wetzler, 
vice-president; Howard Hosmer, treas- 
urer, and Charles R. Minnis, secretary. 

Credit should be given to the Women 
of Arverne, who have been well to the 
front in its civic affairs and have raised 
funds to pay for cleaning the streets 
and lighting the boardwalk. 

Although Arverne is essentially a sum- 
mer resort, there are now several hun- 
dred permanent all-year residents. In 
addition to the public school and two 
railroad stations, there are a post office, 
numerous stores, a synagogue, moving 
picture theatre and public garages. 

is a keeper, Joseph D. Meade, and nine 
men are stationed there. They, and the 
men at Rockaway Point, are in charge 
of this section of the coast. The station 
is well equipped, having two boats and 
all apparatus for rescue work. Several 
of the old mortar guns from which life 
lines were fired out to wrecks in stormy 
weather may be seen at the station. 

The train service is excellent and the 
system, like all others on the Rockaway 
branch, is electrified. Direct connections 
are had with Flatbush avenue, Brooklyn, 
and Pennsylvania Station, IManhattan. 
The running time is only about thirty 

The winter population is estimated at 
1,000 persons. 

Among the early developers and retsi- 
dents of Arverne should be mentioned 
0. K. Eldridge, S. E. N. Derickson, 



Henry E. Knight, H. M. Tostevin, 
Charles Dunham, Straiton, Storms, Wal- 
ter Schifter, Benjamin Liehenstein, W. 
H. Amerman, M. J. Mulqueen, Florian 
Rohe, William Scheer, Martin Meyer, 
Henry Shultheis, Ernest Ochs, John B. 
Summerfield, B. A. Hard, Miss A. Bar- 
rett, Nathaniel A. McBride, Arnold 
Sampter, A. B. Ansliacher, Samuel Mos- 
hacher, Joseph P. Powers, Captain 

Kaiser, William Soramers, Arnold 
Behrer, Kuttner and Sidel Tilghamn. 

The central fire house of the Fifth 
Ward is situated at Arverne. Battalion 
Chief William E. Lawrence is in charge 
of the section. The Arverne equipment 
includes up-to-date motor and horse- 
drawn apparatus and is handled by a 
force of fourteen men. 


THE pioneer developer of Rock- 
away Beach was James S. Rem- 
sen, the popular and affable 
"Uncle Jim" of Jamaica, who in 1853 
with John M. Johnson purchased from 
Charles G. Covert two-thirds of plot 
No. 1, referred to at length in the chap- 
ter on Sales and Division of Lots. Rem- 
sen and Johnson's purchase was then 
between the United States land at the 
western end of the peninsula and the 
Stringham tract. Two years later, in 
1855, James S. Remsen bought another 
plot of 300 acres from Lewis and Abram 
Hewlett for $485.50, being about $1.62 
an acre. In 1858 Remsen gave Johnson 
$20,000 for the latter's interest, and 
thereby became the sole owner. 

Michael P. Holland, also of Jamaica, 
purchased the section of Rockaway 
Beach named after him in 1857 and 
soon afterwards Louis Hammel ac- 
quired the tract to the east of Holland. 
Sixty years ago, Rockaway Beach was 
known as the Lower Beach (from Far 
Rockaway) and extended a little be- 
yond the present entrance to the Belle 
Harbor section. Land was valued only 
for the salt hay it produced. It was 
reached either by boa.t across Jamaica 
Bay or from Far Rockawa,\' by a rough 
wagon road across the meadows and 
marshes where Edgemere ami Arverne 
now are. The deep inlet which for- 
merly swept straight between the point 
of the beach and Barren Island was 
moving in a westerly direction year by 
year, and the peninsula was rapidly 
being added to !jy the enormous sand 

deposits made by the ocean. Many mil- 
lions of dollars' worth of property have 
in this manner been added to the west- 
erly end of the peninsula and of late 
years modern dredging and filling in 
appliances have been brought to work 
by real estate operators, who have 
availed themselves of Dame Nature's 
kindness and augmented her efforts to 
give them land by bulkheading it, in 
order to prevent it getting away again 
and, by filling in sand from ocean and 
bay, made it up to a suitable building 

When the first post office was 
opened at Rockaway Beach the sec- 
tion was called Oceanus and that 
name is still used by some post offices 

The oldest house is the old Dodge 
Homestead on the Boulevard at Dodge 
Avenue, and this is now being demol- 
ished. In addition to this, there were 
only four fishermen's houses, little bet- 
ter than shacks, .vhen Remsen, Holland, 
Hammel and others came. They real- 
ized the conmiercial possibilities of the 
place, which was a very narrow neck of 
land with a slightly curving southerly 
frontage to the Atlantic Ocean, and a 
much indented northerly frontage to 
Jamaica Bay, and the earliest efforts 
were directed towards securing good 
transportation from New York City and 
New Jersey. The beach then formed 
part of the Town of Hempstead. 

In 1863 Remsen conveyed all the land, 
excepting a strip 1,150 feet in width 
running from ocean to bay, which he 



Some Pioneers in Civic Development of the Community 








named Seaside Park, to Dr. Thompson. 
In doing this Remsen's chief considera- 
tion was to secure a railroad connecting 
with Seaside Parlt, and Dr. Thompson 
agreed to build a railroad from East 
New York to Canarsie and maintain a 
steam ferry route between Canarsie and 
Seaside Park landing. This ferry route 
was established and, although faulty in 
its service, was the beginning of big 
things for Seaside. In the meantime 
other sections were undergoing changes. 
As early as 1872 a steam railroad ex- 
tension was run from Far Rockaway 
along the ocean front through Edge- 
mere and Arverne, and as the places 
were built stops were made at Kreus- 
cher's Atlantic Park (now Park Ave- 
nue, Arverne), Eldert's Grove, the Hol- 
land House, Remsen and Wainwright's 
Seaside House and the Neptune House. 
At that time the entire beach was 
covered with groves of fine cedar trees 
and, in addition to these shading de- 
lightful pleasure grounds, they fur- 
nished material for Ijuilding many 

William Wainwright joined Remsen 
in various enterprises at the beach 
when he went there in 1874 and their 
first important project was the build- 
ing and opening of the Seaside House, 
a fine hotel directly at Seaside landing 
on Jamaica Bay. Other hotels were 
erected and Rockaway Beach attracted 
thousands of visitors and became flrmlj^ 
established as a popular summer re- 
sort. The first hotels included the Surf 
Pavilion, Metropolitan Hotel and grove, 
Atlas Hotel, Mammoth Pavilion Ruland's 
Seaside Pavilion, Hillyer's Surf House, 
Grand Repubic Hotel, East End Hotel, 
Hammel's Hotel, Atlantic Park Hotel, 
Holland House, Eldert's Grove and 
Hope's Centennial, all being located in 
the Seaside, Holland and Hammel sec- 
tions of the beach. 

To Mr. Wainwright must be given 
considerable credit for the early suc- 
cess of Rockaway Beach as a summer 
resort. Chiefly through his efforts and 
perseverance num.erous large pleasure 
steamers brought thousands of visitors 
daily and they all landed at Seaside 
landing, where three piers were built. 
Seaside Avenue was the first street laid 
out, and the site was chosen because it 
was the shortest distance from bay to 
ocean and the channel was deep close 
inshore, rendering dockage economical 

and enabling steamers of heavy draft 
to dock easily. 

Among the boats which docked there 
were the Grand Republic; the Plymouth 
Rock, being the old Boston boat; the 
Neversink; the Americus, built by Wil- 
liam Tweed ; the Tammany Tiger ; the 
William Cook and the Twilight, all 
from New York; the Majenta, from 
Newark, N. J.; the Marion, from Jer- 
sey City; the first Iron steamboat from 
Yonkers, being the Francis; and the 
Blackbird and General Sedgwick. 

Houses were built everywhere to ac- 
commodate and cater to the needs and 
pleasures of the many thousands who 
visited the beach; countless bath houses 
were erected on or near the beach front 
to accommodate the bathers desiring a 
dip in the ocean, and many amusement 
centers were originated. 

In 1878 Remsen and Wainwright 
gave to the New Y^ork, Woodhaven and 
Rockaway Railroad Company, all the 
land forming the present Seaside Sta- 
tion. About the same time Michael P. 
Holland gave to the same company the 
site of the present Holland Station, and 
Louis Hammel gave the site of the 
Hammel Station. The Rockaway 
Beach Park Association, of v/hich 
Henry Y. Attrill was president, gave 
the site of the present Rockaway Park 
railroad station. A condition of the 
gift in each case was to the effect that 
the stations should always bear those 
names. In August, 1880, the first train 
ran over the five-mile length of wooden 
trestle which had been built by this 
railroad company across Jamaica Bay, 
reaching the beach at Hammel Station 
and then proceeding westerly on a new 
line laid connecting the stations named. 
The old line nearer the o.cean front was 
later taken up. 

The opening up of this new steam 
line made traveling to and from New 
York and elsewhere very easy. Instead 
of being a sparsely settled section, 
building development proceeded evci-y- 
where and lots rapidly increased in 
value and demand. Speculators turned 
their attention to the wonderful new 
seashore development, and among other 
schemes, one, which ended disastrously 
for those financially interested, was the 
construction of the largest hotel in the 
world, known as the Rockaway Beach 
Hotel and sometimes as Attrills Hotel. 
This hotel was built by the Rockaway 



Park Association at a cost of $1,250,000. 
The plumbing in the building cost 
$90,000. It stood facing the ocean and 
covered a site from the present First 
Avenue to Fifth Avenue. The hotel was 
described in the year 1881 as follows : 

"The Largest Hotel in the World. 

"In 1881, while not yet completed, a 
part of it was opened to the public 
about the 1st of August. The building 
is about 1,188 feet long by 250 feet 
wide. It has several hundred rooms 
and over 100,000 square feet of piazzas. 
Near the hotel are a large number of 

men on the building were never paid 
and threatened to burn it down, but 
later on they received certificates in the 
assets of the association in lieu of 
wages. James W. Husted had been ap- 
pointed Receiver by the Court, and 
John W. Wainwright, then a youth, was 
his clerk or secretary in connection 
with the affairs of the hotel. The struc- 
ture was sold for $30,000 in 1884 and 
torn down, parts of the material being 
purchased by local men and utilized by 
them in building hotels and other 


bathing houses. The water and gas 
supply is furnished from the company's 
own works, a Holly pumping machine 
forcing the water from a large well to 
all parts of the hotel. The drainage 
system is complete; all the refuse mat- 
ter is discharged through massive iron 
pipes at a point distant from the hotel, 
and is carried by direct currents into 
Jamaica Bay. The rooms are heated by 
steam. The observatory on the top of 
the hotel is two hundred feet square 
and there are two elevators to it. An 
unobstructed view of the ocean, the bay 
and the Long Island country for miles 
around is obtained from this elevation." 
The hotel was never opened, with the 
exception of one wing for about a 
month in August, 1881. It was sump- 
tuously furnished. Forty average per- 
sons could have walked up the main 
stairway arm in arm. Many of the work- 

Another ambitious project was the 
famous iron pier constructed at Seaside 
by Theodore Havemeyer. It was then 
the largest pier in the United States 
and extended about 1,300 feet into the 
ocean, afliording landing, at times, for 
steamers. The pier head was 82 feet 
wide and the pier itself 32 feet in width. 
A portion of the pier still remains, but 
the greater length of it has been washed 
a.way by violent storms during the past 
few years. 

Among the early settlers and devel- 
opers of Rockaway Beach, in addition 
to those already mentioned, i. e., Rem- 
sen, Johnson and Wainwright, are the 
following: Garret Eldert, Luke Eldert, 
Michael P. Holland, John Jainieson, 
John Bond, Louis Hammel, John Waters, 
Peter McGirris, Al. Buland, Harper & 
Strumpf, E. E. Datz, Harry A. Failing, 
Louis Phillips, Charles A. Schilling, 



Edgar L. Morrison, Sam Myers, Henry 
Hilmyer, David J. Felio, George 
Burchell, John Healy, Phillip Gloss, 
Dr. Brandreth, Henry W. Isaacs, John 
J. Curley, Jacob Kohn, Emanuel Arnold, 
Richard A. Simpson, John Barry, Henry 
Schonke, Alfred G. Bedell, Benjamin 
Ryder, William Henne, L. A. Wollen- 
weber, Frank Sheppard, John R. Mur- 
ray, Theodore Kruse, Martin Meyer, 
George Bennett, John R. Vail, John J. 
Kelly, Wiedeimann, John Han- 
ley, Gharles Crabbe, Albert Meisel, 
Gharles A. Dashby, Valentine Seaman, 
George L. Lambert, Thomas J. Gorning 
and William E. Meissner. 

In 1886 the boulevard connecting 
Rockaway Beach with Far Rockaway 
was completed. The permanent popu- 
lation at the beach at that time was 
estimated at one thousand persons. 

About the same time First Gongrega- 
tion Ghurch and shortly afterwards the 
Roman Gatholic Church of St. Rose of 
Lima were built. 

A great fire occurred at Seaside on 
September 20th, 1892, when a large part 
of the main section, including all build- 
ing from ocean to bay between Henry 
Street and Gentre Street, were de- 
stroyed. The fire occurred after the 
close of the season's Imsiness, but its 
effects were most disastrous. The dam- 
age by fire and water was estimated at 
half a million dollars 

In the following year the section was 
rebuilt and many more places of enter- 
tainment and amusement soon sprang 
up. An elevated ocean front boardwalk 
from Holland to Seaside was erected 
and added greatly to the attractions of 
the place, which soon came to be one 
of the best known summer resorts in 
the country. 

On July 1st, 1897, the Village of 
Rockaway Beach, Queens Gounty, New 
York, was incorporated with the follow- 
ing officers: John W. Wainwright, 
president; Louis Kreuscher, John J. 
Kelly and David J. Felio, trustees; 
Thomas J. Gorning, treasurer; Clarence 
W. Sherwood, collector; Harry A. Fail- 
ing, clerk; Sanford Murray, street com- 
missioner, and Dr. Obed L. Lusk, health 

The Board of Health consisted of 
William G. Wainwright, president; 
Gharles Crabbe, John J. Curley, Michael 
P. Holland, and Albert Meisel, secre- 

tary. James M. Wainwright was village 

At that time the assessed valuation 
of the village was $570,000 and imme- 
diately after incorporation village 
bonds for $57,000 were issued and that 
amount of money raised and expended 
in street construction and paving. 

The village was absorbed in Greater 
New York on January 1st, 1898, and 
lost its individuality thereby. 

During the years of the development 
of the older sections of the beach the 
ocean was constantly adding land at a 
rapid rate to the westerly end and since 
consolidation the newer districts of 
Belle Harbor and Neponsit have come 
into being. 

These two districts are high class 
real estate developments formed by the 
filling in and bulkheading of the west 
end. In the year 1897 an electric trol- 
ley line was constructed from Far 
Rockaway running through Edgemere, 
Arverne and all of Rockaway Beach, 
including Hammel, Holland, Steeple- 
chase, Seaside, Rockaway Park, Belle 
Harbor, and terminating at Neponsit. 
The fare charged is only five cents for 
the entire distance and this line greatly 
aided the development of Belle Harbor 
and Neponsit, the nearest railroad sta- 
tion to which places is at Fifth Avenue, 
Rockaway Park. Many fine residences 
are now built there and, in addition, the 




Episcopalian Church of St. Andrew, 
and the Roman Gatholic Church of St. 
Francis De Sales with its parochial 
school, are located at Belle Harbor. 

The city owns a large area acquired 
for a seaside park and has erected a 
huge hospital near the ocean front. 
The United States Government has re- 
cently constructed Fort Tilden near the 
same point, and has, also, a life saving 
station there. The peninsula terminates 



Some Pioneers in Civic Development of the Community 






at Rockaway Point, a little west of the 
summer colony of Roxbury. 

Rockaway Park is v/ell equipped with 
numerous fine hotels, boarding houses, 
modern stores, residences, garages, pub- 
lic school, fire house and picture thea- 
tre, in addition to which the beautifully 
clean, wide beach, ideal for bathing 
purposes, is overlooked by a wide 
boardwalk. St. Malachy's Home for 
Boys and the Hebrew Home occupy 
large sites near the ocean front, and 
educate and clothe a large number of 

The Seaside section is the summer 
amusement section, and there are 
located Morrison's Theatre, Wainwright 
& Smith's Pavilion and Hotels, Felio's 
New York Hotel, the Seaside House, 
Healy's, Cunningham's, Schilling's, 
Poggi's and numerous others, as well 
as the innumerable attractions on the 
Bowery and the Steeplechase section of 
the boardwalk, v/here roller coasters, 
picture theatres and the dark caves 
offer ample means of passing the time 
pleasantly at the ocean front. 

The Holland and Hammel sections 
have a more permanent population, and 
the Boulevard is lined with stores from 
one end to the other. In these districts 
there are three churches; a Jewish 

Synagogue; a large public school a 
branch public library; a splendid free 
hospital well equipped with a staff of 
doctors, nurses and an ambulance; the 
Rockaway Beach post office; two weekly 
newspapers, the Wave and the Argus; 
numerous summer and winter hotels; 
boarding houses, garages and thou- 
sands of bathing houses at the ocean 
front, as well as many private resi- 
dences. These sections are almost sol- 
idly built up. A cable station for re- 
ceiving Transatlantic messages is at 
Fairview Avenue. 

The Jamaica Bay shore between 
Hammel and Neponsit is lined with 
docks used by private yacht clubs, or 
where boats of all descriptions maj'' be 
hired. Some of the clubs have elabo- 
rate quarters and great memberships, 
the two best known being the Jamaica 
Bay Yacht Club and the Belle Harbor 
Yacht Club. 

The 281st Precinct police station and 
lockup are now in the old school house 
at Boulevard and Academy Avenue, 
Holland. The first station house (1898) 
was in a brick building near the ocean 
in Henry Street, Seaside, but a move 
was made to the present quarters in 
1901, when the public schoool was 
opened across the Boulevard. There 




are fifty-two men, including captain 
and lieutenants, permanently stationed 
there, and the precinct includes all 
the territory from Cronin's crossing, 
Arverne, to Eockaway Point. 

The City Fire Department has a sub- 
stantial brick fire house at Fifth Ave- 
nue, Eockaway Park, with motor and 
horse-drawn apparatus handled by 

twenty-two men ; an engine company 
and fourteen men at Seaside; a hook 
and ladder company with fourteen men 
at Holland, and an engine company 
with fourteen men at Grove Avenue, 

There are no factorie.? at Eockaway 
Beach, the total permanent population 
of which is estimated at 12,000 persons. 


Prominent residents of the area occu- 
pied by the former incorporated villages 
of Far Eockaway, Arverne and Eock- 
away Beach, which now form the Fifth 
Ward of the Borough of Queens, have 
during the past few years made stren- 
uous attempts, well supported by a ma- 
jority of the residents and property 
owners, to secure more recognition from 
the Greater City, and an expenditure of 
money on this section in return for the 
annual taxes paid in. 

This area is assessed for the year 
1917 for taxes at the sum of $60,301,710 
and residents claim they do not receive 
adequate attention to their needs in 
return. They point out that an up-to- 
date sewer system; an . ocean front 
boardwalk from Far Eockaway to 
Neponsit; a better highway or boule- 
vard through their territory; better 
main roads and a highway connecting 

the Eockaways with Brooklyn, across 
Jamaica Bay, are needed. 

To secure these improvements they 
claim they must again have local self- 
government, and accordingly in the 
spring of 1915 a bill was presented and 
passed in the legislature at Albany 
creating of the Fifth V/ard a separate 
city called Eockaway City. At the time 
of the presentation of the bill a great 
delegation went from Eockaway on 
special trains to Albany and a public 
hearing was given in the Assembly 
chamber. Hopes of success ran high 
until the bill, which passed in the Sen- 
ate and Assembly by very large major- 
ities, was vetoed and thereby defeated 
for that year by John Purroy Mitchel, 
Mayor of New York City, after a public 
hearing in City Hall. 

The next year another bill was drawn 
and presented, but was not pushed for 




passage. In 1917 the third measure was 
strenuously urged and again success- 
fully passed both houses and was again 
sent to Mayor Mitchel Jor signature or 
veto. The Mayor again vetoed the bill, 
leading residents are hopeful that un- 
der the administration of John F. 
Hvlan, whose term of otfice as ]Mayor 

commences on January 1st next year, 
their needs will be better looked after 
iind some serious attempt made to fur- 
nish the most urgent of their require- 
ments. In that event they express them- 
selves willing to remain a part of the 
greatest city in the world and forego 
their applications for local autononfiy. 










New York City 

The reliable news of the Rockaway Branch 
from Hewlett to Arverne, each Friday 


Far Rockaway Journal 

JAMES LOUCHEIM, Associate Editor 


of the Journal is the 


with type-setting machines, automatic presses 
and other equipment. All kinds of printing 
handled with dispatch. 


341 Central Avenue, Far Rockaway, N. Y. 

Telephone Far Rockaway 1056 

Bank of Lawrence 

CAPITAL AND SURPLUS - - $110,000.00 

Special attention given to deposits hy n/aii 

Lawrence New York 

Established 1892 Telephone 245 Hammels 



The Laundry That Serves 
You On Time and Right 


The Largest Laundry Plant on Long Island 

469-471 Boulevard 
Rockaway Beach, New York 


Distributor and Service Station 

For the 






Telephone, HAMMELS 4 







Phone, Hammels 244 


and SONS 
New Seaside Market 




177 Boulevard, 

Rockaway Beach 

Tel. Call 173 Far Rockaway 
P. O. Box 449 

Far Rockaway 
Ice Co. 

J. J. MICHELS, Treas. 

• • • M, \,^ Cj • • • 


FAR ROCKAWAY, - - - N. Y. 

Telephone 4*) Far Rocka^vay 


jFuncral JBirector 



A. V. JONES, President and Treasurer 
H. E. SHARP, Secretary 

Phone 17 Far Rockavvay 



Oldest Established 

Real Estate and Insurance Agency 

in the Rockaways 





Management of LLOYD L. CRAFT 


The Home of Quality 


Cedarhurst's Only 
Recreation and 
Amusement Centre 


Outside Inn 

Lawrence Long Island 

'Phones Far Rock. 573-4 


Choice Meats and Poultry 

282 Central Avenue 

Far Rockaway 

'Phone. Woodmere 3128 

William Kerr Macdonald 




Ocean House 
Crest Hotel 

Open from May 1st to October 1st 

Belmore Hotel 

Open all Year 


of Mrs. E. Fitzsimmons 


Central Ave., Far Rockaway, N. Y. 




Bachelor Apartments 

ADAM RICHTER, Proprietor 

Boardwalk at Jessica Avenue 


Decker's Queens County 
Ice M'f g Company, Inc. 

R. B. and S. I. DECKER, Props. 


Prompt Deliveries to Far Rockaway, 
In wood, Lawrence and Cedar hurst 

We Guarantee Our Ice Free from Disease Germs 

Eitablished by I. B. Remsen 1880 

Succeeded by S. N. Decker 1888 

Succeeded by R. B. and S. I. Decker 1910 

'Phone Far Rockaway 494 

Thomas J. Nolan 



Estimates Furnished 

25 Cornaga Ave., rockaway 

CHAS. SMITH, President J. EZRA SMITH, Treasurer 

Smith Bros. Plumbing Co. 

Tels,, 1596 and 1597 
Far Rockaway 




239 Central Ave. FAR ROCKAWAY, N, Y. 

JOHN J. McCarthy 

Sanitary Plumbing 

'Phone, Far Rockaway 580 


Steam and Hot Water Heating 
Copper and Sheet Metal Work 

Branch at Far Rockaway 

! Broadway 

«7 J I I 1 J 

Woodmere, Long Island 
Tel, 2'I57 Woodmere 

Stephen A. Kelly 


who personally superintends 
every job he undertakes 

Get an estimate 

(Near Cornaga Avenue) 


Telephone Connection 


WILLIAM D. REILLY, Proprietor 

Furniture Removed 
and Stored 


'Phone, Far Rockaway 1118 

Offices: Spruce Street, Cedarhurst 

C. A. Schiffmacher 


Contractors and Build 


Manufacturers of high grade 

rustless Door and Window 


Also dealers in 

Sash, Blinds, Doors and Trim 


Telephone 2564 Far Rockaway 

Hensler and Callister 

BAKERS . . . 


Long Island 

'Phone Far Rockaway 21 14 





706 Central Ave. Far Rockaway 


Department Store 

Established 1893 

Joseph Gottlieb 
Department Store 

Everything for Everybody 

172-174 BOULEVARD 


John G. McNicoll 


Cedarhurst, L. I. 

Coal andWood 

C. and H. T. WHITSON 


237 Central Ave. 

Phone, Far Rockaway 2392 



Hand Embroideries 



<J)C «4* 

good to eat 

Half -Way House 



77je first house to be built 
in Edgemere 

Many changes have since then been 

effected, and the Half -Way 

House now stands out as 

one of the best equipped 

hostelries from 

Jamaica to 



New York Hotel 

Established in 1878 



Telephone Hammels 77 

\ Phone 375 Hammels 

William Schoncke 



Wall Board Weather Strips 


(Beach 77th Street) 
Rockaway Beach, New York 



Hay and Grain 
Wood and Charcoal 


ANDREW J. KENNY, President 

Foot of Kane Ave. 




F. H. Weyant and Son 



Grain of Every Description 

Foot Spruce and Chestnut Streets 


\ I 

I F H \A/^,ro«f -.rirl Sr^ri i 





I Telephone Connection | 

! I 


I Coal and Wood | 

I Hay, Straw, Feed i 



I ! 

j Bricks Lime Cement Sewer Pipe Flue Linings ! 

I I 

' Irving Place and ..,^^,^...,,,„ I 

! Railroad Ave. WOODMERE, L. I. | 

! .-o-,.-o — .,_„^o»„-..-. . . „ — .-_„ i 

Far Rockaw^ay's 
Famous Bathing Beach 


EDWARD ROCHE, Proprietor 

Special Season Rates 

Transients Accommodated 

Efficient Life Guards Always on Duty 




Andrew McTigue Co., Inc. 




A. C. HAYNES, Sec. and Gen. M'g'r 




His History is 


Prompt and Liberal Settlements 
and an Established Reputation for 


O^Kane Building Far Rockaway 




I Natural Attractions p 



I Excellent Train Service \ 



I what they are to-day 

I Aside from being the foremost watering place for | 
p NeAV York's millions, they are noAVtJie all-year-round | 
I homeplaceof numerous New York City businessmen. I 

Wainwright & Smith Co. 



J. W. Waixwright, President and Generai. Manager 





LUNCH PAVILION (Formerly Murray's) 




A Bank of 
Strength and Character 




November 16th, 1903 $3,441,945.40 

November 16th, 1907 5,447>665.88 

November 16th, 1912 7,523,086.02 

November i6th, 1917 15,700,423.92 

We cordially invite business on this record. 


Financial Preparedness 

in the United States really began two years ago when 
the Federal Reserve System was organized. It will be 
complete when every citizen is doing his share towards 
the maintenance of the system. 

By depositing your money with us you can help directly 
in developing and strengthening it, as we are required to 
keep on deposit with our Federal Reserve Bank in New 
York a portion of your balance with us. 

At the same time, and without cost, you benefit directly 
from the protection the system affords us. 

The National Bank of Far Rockaway 

Historian of Rockaway Beach for 25 Years 

$1.50 Per Year 

©IlF Wnm 



D. W MURRAY, Pres and Mgr 

405-407 Boulevard 

Rockaway Beach, N. Y 

Telephone 15 Haramels 


MARY E. CRABBE, President and Treasurer 
HARRY H. HICKS, Vice-President 

Lumber and Mill Work 

Beach 80th St. and Railroad 





Assured by the Use of 

Gas and Electric Appliances 

And proven by the wonderful increase in the 
number installed during the past fifteen years. 
The following comparisons are made between 
the years 1902 (the year this company took 
over the Gas and Electric business in the 
Rockaways) and the present year, 1917. 



Water Heaters — Circulating Type 

Water Heaters — Automatic T,vpe 

Heaters and Logs . 

Laundry Stoves 

Flat Irons .... 


Flat Irons 
Vacuum Cleaners 
Toasters . 

Washing Machines 

The results shown above indicate clearly the rapid!}' growing demand 
for Gas and Electric Appliances. 

Rc'aH;.t' Real Com\ort and Economy — Equip Your Home Now 

Queens Borough Gas and Electric Co.